Johannesburg – A 25-year-old pregnant patient committed suicide by hanging herself in a bathroom with her headscarf at the Kopanong District Hospital in Vereeniging, Sedibeng at the weekend.
Commenting on the tragedy on Tuesday, the Gauteng Department of Health (GDoH) said: “It wishes to sadly confirm the unfortunate incident”.
Narrating events leading to the tragedy, the GHoD said on Friday, (8 September 2023), a 29-week pregnant patient, was brought to the hospitals Accident and Emergency unit.
The patient was brought to the hospital by emergency medical services personnel escorted by her mother.
“Upon admission, the mother gave a background that the patient was displaying abnormal behaviour, which the department cannot disclose due to patient-doctor confidentiality,” the GDoH said.
“The patient was then seen by a doctor who eventually diagnosed her.
“After diagnosis, she was then admitted to the maternity ward due to her being over seven months pregnant.
“The doctor prescribed sedation and restraints which were applied.
“The patient was later nursed in a side ward due to her condition being triggered by crying babies.”
The GDoH said during the early hours of Saturday morning, (9 September 2023), while the nursing staff were doing their rounds, they noticed that the patient was not on her bed.
“Upon looking for her, they made the gruesome discovery and found the patient hanging in the bathroom with her headscarf,” said the GHoD.
“The unfortunate incident has been reported to the South African Police Service (SAPS) which has already opened an inquest docket.”
The GDoH said its Quality Assurance unit will also conduct an internal investigation as this case is regarded as a Patient Safety Incident.
“The internal processes are expected to take not more than 60 days to conclude, independent of the SAPS investigation,” said GDoH.
“The Department has already conveyed its condolences to the bereaved family of the patient and has arranged counselling services for both the family and staff at the Kopanong District Hospital.”