Denied Anaesthetics: Chased from Walvis Bay State Hospital

A Walvis Bay woman shared her horrifying experience with namib times this week of how a medical practitioner at the town’s state hospital cut open a septic wound without administering an anaesthetic. When she became hysterical of pain and shock, she was chased away without the wound being properly closed up again after it was cleaned.
The woman had a cesarean recently, but the operation wound became septic and she turned to the Walvis Bay state hospital for assistance. To clean the wound, the doctor had to cut it open. She (the doctor) did so without administering an anaesthetic and when the women screamed and cried she replied with the words “I know it is sore, just stop screaming and don’t be such a sissy”.

The young woman had a cesarean at the Rehoboth state hospital recently, but sadly the baby died days later. She came to Walvis Bay and discovered after some days that all is not well. The operation wound partly started to open and it was clear that the wound had inflammation to it and was becoming septic.

At the hospital she was told to lay down, expecting the doctor to dress the wound. Within a few seconds she felt immense pain. So severe and intense the pain was that she started to scream and cry. “The doctor did not tell me that she was going to cut open my wound. I just suddenly felt this severe pain and started to scream”, the woman told namib times in an interview at her home in Walvis Bay on Saturday afternoon. Adding she was shocked beyond belief when the doctor made those arrogant and unsympathetic remarks. According to the woman the doctor then instructed a nurse to bring her a Panado for the pain. The doctor allegedly simply carried on despite the woman’s immense pain and said all woman go through this as “this is the way it is done here”.

After a few minutes more, the doctor instructed the nurse, who was standing by throughout the whole procedure, to take over and finish up.The sister then started inserting Betadine gauze pads into the wound, to clean up the infection, before attempting to close the wound. All this with the woman now hysterical and still no anaesthetic administered.
The nurse too was rude. According to the woman the nurse said the doctor informed her that she [the patient] has an attitude problem. According to the woman the final straw came for her when the nurse wanted to insert a needle into the open wound. “I screamed as loud as I could, as this was what I could take. It was then when the nurse became angry and told me to get up and leave the hospital and never to return”, the woman explained during the interview. The wound was left open.

She is visibly and audibly still deeply shocked at what she had to go through. What also makes it immensely difficult for her is the fact that through all of this she also has to deal with her baby’s death. The woman’s husband also during the interview told the namib times when he wanted to find out who the doctor was, he was silenced and dismissed with the words: “what do you want to do with the doctor’s name?” The nurse involved also did not want to disclose her name.

The family of the young woman sent a letter to the Chief Medical Officer, acting regional Director of the Erongo Regional Health Directorate, Amir Shaker, explaining what had happened at the hospital. He replied with an email saying that he acknowledges receiving the email and will answer once he gets all the information from the district. They are still waiting for a reply.

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