A 5-day-old baby boy may have his right arm amputated after a doctor forgot to remove a tourniquet from his hand for over 18 hours after taking his blood sample.
The incident, which happened a few hours after the baby was born at the Aminu Kano Teaching Hospital (AKTH) Kano, left the baby with a rotting hand, with physiotherapy doctors saying the hand was not functioning and might have to be amputated.
The father of the boy, Malam Umaru Shamsu, told Daily Trust that the tragic incident started after 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 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.”
When physiotherapy doctors at the hospital examined the hand, they discovered that it 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 said.
He 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, Hajiya Hauwa Muhd Abdullahi, said in a statement that the management was shocked and condemned 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, the chief medical director, Professor Abdurrahman Abba Sheshe, called on patients and relatives with any complaints to report them to the hospital’s Servicom desk officers.