A doctor at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital, Kano State has reportedly forgotten to remove a tourniquet (a device for stopping the flow of blood through a vein or artery) from a five-day-old baby’s hand for over 18 hours after taking his blood sample.
Speaking with the Daily Trust, the father of the newborn said the incident occurred when his wife underwent an operation and the doctors discovered that the boy had a problem with his breath, which led them to admit him to the paediatric clinic of the hospital.
The development left the baby with a rotting hand, with physiotherapy doctors saying the hand was not functioning and might have to be amputated.
Mr Shamsu said: “The doctor took his blood, but he forgot to remove the tourniquet, which prevented blood from circulating in his hand for 18 hours.
“According to the doctors, the device should not have been left for more than two minutes on the newborn’s hand.
“I left the hospital a few hours after he was born. His mother was also admitted. When I came back the following day, I didn’t see the baby.
“The nurses refused to tell me what happened. Later, they briefed me and urged us to take heart and pray.”
Mr Shamsu added that after an examination by physiotherapy doctors at the hospital, it was discovered that the hand was not working
“The doctors said we should keep on praying and that they had put him on treatment, but that if it fails, we have to accept our destiny as the hand will be amputated,” he lamented.
The father added that the chief medical director of the hospital had directed that the boy be treated free of charge but that later, they brought a bill to him to buy medicine.
“To my surprise, they brought a bill for us to buy medicine. This means we still have to take care of the monetary aspect, after what they have done to us.
“We are now left to think of what will happen to the boy. Whether the hand will recover or he has to be amputated,” he said.
Reacting to the tragic incident, the public relations officer of the hospital, Hauwa Muhd Abdullahi, said in a statement that the management was shocked, condemning the alleged negligence by the doctor.
She said the matter had been forwarded to the Committee on Negligence on Duty for investigation and appropriate action.
She added that while the hospital regretted the tragic incident, which has never happened in the past 33 years of its existence.
According to her, the hospital’s Chief Medical Director, Abdurrahman Abba-Sheshe, called on patients and relatives with any complaints to report them to the hospital’s Servicom desk officers.