JungleTalker reports that the Gauteng Department of Health in South Africa has confirmed that a seven months pregnant woman took her own life in an hospital restroom.
The 25-year-old pregnant woman identified as Refilwe Thamae, hanged herself with her scarf in a bathroom at Kopanong District Hospital in Vererniging, Sedibeng, on Saturday.
A spokesperson for the Gauteng Health Department, Motalatale Modiba, in a statement on Tuesday, September 12, described the suicide incident as unfortunate.
Explaining the events leading up to her death, Modiba said the pregnant woman, who was 29 weeks pregnant, was brought to the hospital’s Accident and Emergency unit by emergency medical services personnel on Friday, September 8. She had been escorted by her mother.
“Upon admission, the mother gave a background that the patient was displaying abnormal behavior which the Department cannot disclose due to patient-doctor confidentiality,” Modiba said.
“After diagnosis, she was then admitted at the maternity ward due to her being over seven months pregnant,” he said.
Modiba said 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,” he said.
Modiba said during the early hours of Saturday morning, the nursing staff noticed that the patient was not in her bed.
“Upon looking for her, they made the gruesome discovery and found the patient hanging in the bathroom with her headscarf,” he said.
Modiba said the incident was reported to the SA Police Service (SAPS) and an inquest had been opened.
“The Gauteng Department of Health’s Quality Assurance unit will also conduct an internal investigation, as this case is regarded as a Patient Safety Incident,” he said.
The internal processes are expected to take not more than 60 days to conclude.
Modiba said this was independent of the SAPS investigation.
“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,” he added.