PE nurses blame misfiled paperwork for maggot-infested wounds

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Nurses at Port Elizabeth’s Livingstone Hospital claim that misfiled paperwork stopped them from changing the dressings of a patient who then had maggots hatching in his wounds. This is according to an investigation by senior doctors.

The Herald reports that Clint Morris‚ 40‚ was seriously injured in a motorcycling accident in November and had undergone multiple surgeries on both legs. After he received a skin graft last month‚ maggots hatched in his wound after nurses failed to change his dressings.

Livingstone Hospital clinical services senior manager Dr Mojalefa Maseloa said the incident had prompted them to start a quality improvement project. He said after Morris was sent back to Livingstone Hospital following surgery for a skin graft at Provincial Hospital‚ staff filed wound care instructions as part of his discharge papers and not as part of ongoing care instructions. “Nurses could therefore not find it in his file.”

He said that due to the public holidays‚ nurses had struggled to get hold of the plastic surgeons who prescribed the wound care. “We changed his bandages because we saw his wounds were seeping but we did not know what ointment to put on the wounds.”

Maseloa said he was upset by what had happened and had taken doctors out of emergency surgery to take Morris to theatre and clean his wounds under anaesthesia.

The Herald report

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