Newborn baby sustains burns in Nyeri hospital

A two week old infant is nursing burns after she was left unattended near a heater in a private hospital in Nyeri County

Baby Patience Wangui was barely an hour old when tragedy struck.

She sustained four per cent burns after was scorched by excessive heat from a heater placed next to the bed where she had been placed by nurses at Mary Immaculate Hospital.

She was born on June 8 at around midday, and the nurses placed her on a bed as they attended to the mother.

A nurse who was attending to the baby is said to have turned on the heater and went to the laundry room.

The baby sustained burns on the abdomen and both legs.

A picture of Mary Immaculate Hospital in Nyeri

A picture of Mary Immaculate Hospital in Nyeri County where a baby was burnt by a heater switched on by a nurse. PHOTO | NICHOLAS KOMU | NATION MEDIA GROUP

The family of the infant accused the hospital of negligence further alleging that they withheld information about the incident.

According to the mother, Ms Esther Nyawira, the nurses attending to her handed her the baby but did not reveal that the baby had been injured.

“They just gave me the baby but did not tell me she had been burned. I found out about the burns when I removed the shawls to breastfeed her,” she said.

Ms Nyawira alleged that when she asked what happened to the baby, the nurses told her that the burns were caused by drinking hot tea during pregnancy.

The family further claimed that the hospital denied them full disclosure of what had led to the burns until after two days.

MISTAKE

The hospital has since denied that they had withheld information from the family

The hospital administrator Sr Phyllis Jotham admitted that the injuries were as a result of a mistake by the nurses on duty. She said the hospital has taken full responsibility of the situation.

“We admit that there was a mistake and we take full responsibility of the accident. But we in fact did tell the family of the accident immediately the nurses alerted me about it,” said Sr Phyllis.

INVESTIGATIONS

She added, “The hospital is dealing with this matter very seriously and at no point was the mother told the burns were from drinking hot tea.”

She blamed the miscommunication on the delay to relay information to the family.

The hospital head said that the matter was raised by the attending nurses immediately but they did not inform the mother as she was still recovering.

She said the hospital has already launched an internal investigation into the matter and that two nurses had already written statements over incident.

“We will decide whether to give them a pay cut based on our findings or whether to fire them,” she said.

The hospital will also foot the bill arising from the child’s treatment.

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