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Intern Worked On False Result to Rush C-Section in Which Baby’s Hand Was Chopped

Jinja hospital director Edward Nkurunziza says that the mother, identified as Betty Biribawa suffered from antepartum haemorrhage, a serious complication of pregnancy which is sometimes caused by uterine rapture. At 32 weeks of the pregnancy, the mother was bleeding uncontrollably, warranting an emergency C-section to save her life.
Birabwa's baby undegoing treatment at Jinja regional referral hospital.

Audio 2

An intern doctor who accidentally cut off a baby’s hand during a caesarean section was working on false examination results, Jinja hospital director Edward Nkurunziza has said. 

Nkurunziza who declined to name the trainee said this afternoon that fetoscope results undertaken by the team on duty, on the fateful day, failed to show the fetal heartbeat, after examining the expectant mother who was presented to them after excessive bleeding. 

He adds that the mother, identified as Betty Biribawa suffered from antepartum haemorrhage, a serious complication of pregnancy which is sometimes caused by uterine rupture. At 32 weeks of the pregnancy, the mother was bleeding uncontrollably, warranting an emergency C-section to save her life.   

Nkurunziza explains that with a view of saving the mother’s life, the interns panicked and took Biribawa to the operating theatre and left her with one of them to simply remove what they had assumed was a dead baby.

//Cue in; “the mother came… 

Cue out…arm came off.”//   

He adds that all this took place in the absence of mandatory supervision by a senior doctor as recommended for such a medical operation.   

//Cue in; “we really found… 

Cue out…the problem is.”//   

A health worker who spoke on condition of anonymity said that he heard the baby’s cry for several hours as the interns laboured to stitch her injured hand.  

“I was helping out in a surgical procedure when the baby started crying and I wasn’t carried away thinking that it was a child’s cry at birth only to realize later that, the interns were stitching her chopped arm,” he says.  

Biribawa on her part says that she presented an ultrasound confirming the fetal heartbeat but the interns ignored it. 

“I reported to the hospital on November 8, and was told to carry out an ultrasound from a neighbouring clinic which reflected positive response for the fetal heartbeat, but the doctors ignored it claiming that my child had succumbed to the excessive bleeding,” she says. 

The 1.2 kg baby is undergoing treatment at the hospital’s special care unit.