Two open surgery patients and one pacemaker insertion(battery) patient died during operations at Princess Marina Hospital in partnership with Scottish Livingstone Hospital in Molepolole. This was revealed by Princess Marina Hospital Superintendent Kelebogile Motumise on Thursday, indicating although they do not usually reveal the challenges they go through to the public, this is an exception because they want Batswana to be aware of cardiac complications and what they can do to make sure that they are assisted in time. He said that it is with sadness that despite their heroic efforts from their staff their resuscitative efforts were unfruitful. “Unfortunately these patients that we lost were the most complicated with previous cardiac operations and advanced disease at the time of presentation to us,” he said.
He said it is a very sad moment for them as Princess Marina, Scottish Livingstone Hospital, the Ministry of Health and the entire government of Botswana to have lost lives. He their aim is to restore health but sadly the three patients succumbed to their illnesses while they were trying to assist them.
The cardiac session took place as from the sixth to the 13th of April at both Princess Marina and Scottish Livingstone. This was the 15th cardiac session to take place in Botswana since 2009 when the Ministry of Health got into a partnership with Mauritian Cardiac team. Before then there were no specialists in Botswana offering such services, which means the patients were always sent outside. Motumise said after some of their staff were sent to the cardiac centre in Mauritius for skills transfer and experience in order to gain competencies, they now have the local cardiac team comprising of doctors, nurses, allied health professionals and support staff. He said they do not have a cardiac surgeon at the moment who carries heart operations, and that is why the quarterly visits of Mauritian Cardiac Team to conduct these procedures. He assured that the team is very good since it does not only train in Botswana but also in European countries. He said though initially they were conducted at Princess Marina, they then moved to Scottish Livingstone hospital due to shortage of space, overcrowding and their aim of taking the specialist care to the local communities. “Open heart surgeries are now done at Scottish hospital since 2013, whereas heart scans, coronary angiography, angioplasty, and pacemaker insertions are done at Marina,” he added. He said that before the operations that they had a week ago they had a total of 88 open heart surgeries that they have done, 17 pacemaker insertions, 180 angiograms, 16 stents and 451 heart scans.
Last week the procedures that were done were 42 heart scans, 25 angiography, one angioplasty, three insertions of pacemakers and eight open heart surgeries. Despite this the hospital assured that they will continue to provide holistic quality services to Batswana. When asked if the advanced disease is not caused by them misdiagnosing and being negligent especially when it comes to the primary health cares which hardly transfers someone to a hospital though they come complaining about the same problem again and again, Cardiologist at Marina Hospital Monkgogi Goepamang said that they aware of those cases. He rather said that as Marina they are always communicating with primary health cares to make sure that they transfer patients immediately for assessment if they are not sure what their problem might be. He said of course there is no doubt that heart surgeries are the most complicated and as such very important for people to make sure that they get help fast so that they can be treated before the disease advances.