WARNING: Distressing images. The patient’s son ‘screamed‘ when he saw the state of his suffering father’s mouth as he was treated at RK Khan Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal Province
A family has complained to a hospital after maggots were found wriggling in the mouth of an elderly man recovering from a leg injury.
An investigation has been launched into the treatment of patient Abdul Ebrahim, who suffered a stroke in 2014 that left him immobile and unable to speak.
In May he was admitted to a hospital in eastern South Africa with a minor leg injury.
RK Khan Hospital in KwaZulu-Natal Province then released him and prescribed antibiotics.
But a month later, the wound started to smell. “My mother came home from work to find his leg turned completely black and had become like jelly,” his son Azaad told local media.
The family then took Abdul back to the hospital where he had his leg amputated.
At the time, Azaad was told his father and his hygiene were being cared for.
Azaad assumed that the care included brushing his father’s teeth but he noticed his dad’s upper lip looked swollen.
When he took a closer look he found scores of maggots crawling underneath.
“Maggots were crawling and so active and moving. I lost my mind. I screamed.
“I couldn’t believe that no one attended to him. The first thing anyone does in the morning is to brush their teeth.
“They couldn’t even do that? Not even a guard came into the room. They just isolated my dad in the room because of the smell,” added to local media.
He asked the nurses to clean his father but his request allegedly went unanswered. As a result, he asked them for tissues and utensils to clean his father’s mouth himself.
Azaad said he suspected his father didn’t receive the due care he needed during his stay at the hospital.
Azaad said: “I’m currently working on a change to be made in this hospital so no other human shall suffer.”
Abdul has since died from natural causes.
A dental expert told local media that maggots can flourish if there are flies around.
Nomagugu Simelane-Zulu, a member of the executive council of KwaZulu-Natal’s department of health, has called for a full investigation.
She said: “The reality of it is that it means, while he was under our care, and he had the challenges that he did, he also had an added discomfort of having to deal with the situation that he was faced with.
“I have requested the acting head of department that we should do a thorough investigation.”