Durban – The chairperson of RK Khan Hospital’s board has called on the Health Ombudsman to investigate an administrative blunder that led to the switching of babies delivered at the hospital, which led to two mothers taking home the wrong infants at the weekend.
RK Khan Hospital board chairperson Reverend Cyril Pillay said: “This is unnecessary and negligent on the part of staff. Actually, I am personally traumatised by this happening and feel for the families. I urge the Health Ombudsman to urgently investigate this negligence.”
RK Action Committee chairman Visvin Reddy said the matter had come to the committee’s attention.
“There has been a mix-up of babies at RK Khan Hospital where a mother had given birth at the weekend and the child had to be taken to King Edward Hospital, and the incorrect baby was then brought back to the mother and it was realised only much later,” Reddy said.
“It is highly traumatising because when you go to hospital this sort of thing should not happen,” Reddy said.
KZN Department of Health spokesperson Ntokozo Maphisa said the department was aware of the blunder.
“The department is aware of a matter in which an administrative error led to two babies being handed to the wrong next of kin. The error was picked up by a hospital staff member, and the department proactively reported the matter to the police, and also facilitated the safe return of both babies to the hospital,” Maphisa said.
“Both babies have undergone DNA tests and are being kept in a place of safety pending the results, after which they will be handed over to their rightful parents.
“The department is obviously concerned by this incident and is investigating its cause, while concurrently devising measures across the board to prevent its recurrence.”