Nurses accused of locking up patient
Relatives of a former patient at the Katutura State Hospital were left reeling with rage after they claimed that the nurses mistreated their loved one.
The patient’s older sister said that her brother, the patient, was admitted after he suffered a mild head injury. She spoke anonymously due to the sensitive nature of her brother’s job.
The patient’s sister claims that nurses locked him in his room, claiming that he was a danger to himself.
The patient, who works outside of Windhoek, suffered a head injury while he was working in Grootfontein. He visited the hospital in the small town to receive treatment. However, he started feeling ill after not being treated properly and was later transferred to Windhoek.
“He was transferred to the Katutura State Hospital the week after he initially sustained the head injury where the doctors ordered that he get a head scan to make sure there was no serious damage,” his sister recounted.
He was admitted to Katutua State Hospital so that medical staff could observe his condition. His symptoms were similar to those of a patient with a concussion, which include brief loss of consciousness after the injury, memory problems, confusion and nausea or vomiting.
The sister said that the nursing staff however took their time with the scans, only conducting them 4 days after he was admitted. “He did not get permission from his superiors to be away from work for that long, so he began questioning the nurses, asking what was taking so long, but they were evasive,” she explained.
He kept insisting that the nurses give him information or at least that they transfer him back to the hospital in Grootfontein so that he would be closer to his work. However, the sister says the nurses still remained tight lipped.
Although the nurses were made aware that he had no history of mental illness and were aware that he was merely trying to get back to work because he might get fired, they locked him up, saying he was a danger and might hurt himself. The sister claims that her brother was also not allowed any food, they had a disagreement about his food.
The patient’s mother, who was visiting, had to intervene and speak to the nurses about the nature of the patient’s job and why he had to leave.
The patient was later released after much insistence from the family, however could not take the issue up any further because of his work. “My brother’s job is of a sensitive nature, taking it up would mean that his name would be known and his superiors would find out he was away from work for too long, and all because the nurses were not forth coming,” his sister said.
When contacted for comment, the hospital superintendent, only known as Amagulu because she refused to give her full name, said that she was not aware of the matter. When queried further as to whether or not she would look into it, an apprehensive Amagulu said that the patient should contact the Customer Care Centre at the Windhoek Central Hospital.
by Faith Haushona-Kavamba