An elderly man’s (84) daughter was forced to discharge him herself from the Tshwane District Hospital in Pretoria after his hands were tied so tightly to his hospital bed that they were purple when she got to him last week.
Abram Holtzhausen – who was admitted to this hospital in Prinshof last week due to low blood pressure – had his hands tied to his hospital bed after he apparently repeatedly tried to pull out his catheter.
“The family does not have a problem with the fact that they tied his hands if he repeatedly pulled out his catheter. It is how tightly his hands were tied that is inhumane,” says Virginia Keppler Young, spokesperson for the United Independent Movement (UIM), on behalf of the family.
Holtzhausen’s legs were also tied to his hospital bed.
“He was left on a bed near an open window with the cold wind blowing over him. Uncle Abram was starving and freezing cold without a blanket over his feet when his daughter, Magda Holtzhausen, visited him,” says Keppler Young.
“My father’s feet were cold,” agreed Magda. “His food was left there and he couldn’t even eat or drink water himself because his hands were tied. He struggled to breathe and kept coughing as they laid him flat on his back.
“I asked the nurse to loosen it a bit and she couldn’t. They were also rude to me when I wanted to dress my father in clean clothes,” says Magda.
Because of these circumstances, she decided to fire her father.
“Everyone is treated badly there. It doesn’t matter if you are black, white, brown or Indian,” she says about the Tshwane District Hospital.
She claims that she and her father were already treated badly when he was initially admitted to the hospital.
“I had to fight to give my father porridge, to get him dressed cleanly. I myself cleaned the floor, which was full of water, with a cloth that I brought from home and even over that they made a fuss.”
Meanwhile, Magda took her father to the Steve Biko academic hospital to have him admitted there.
Foster Mohale, spokesperson for the Department of Health, says the department has taken note of the incident and will bring it to the attention of the relevant hospital management so that an investigation into the incident can be launched.