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13 Dec, 2018 18:28

‘What about sterile surgery?’: Woman in shock after medics use duct tape to bandage her mother

‘What about sterile surgery?’: Woman in shock after medics use duct tape to bandage her mother

The operation was serious and Anna felt relieved when her mother was moved from Intensive Care. But all that ended when the caring daughter found duct tape fixing her mom’s bandages. The ensuing scandal saw the head doctor sacked.

Although Anna, from Blagoveshchensk in Russia's Far East, knew that her 63-year-old mother’s operation went well and that she was transferred from Intensive Care. But there was no way she could have predicted that a routine visit to her mom’s ward at the city’s clinical hospital would end in such drama.

When Anna examined her mom, she was stunned to see that “the stitches were well-tended, but the bandages were attached to the body with duct tape instead of special medical adhesive plasters.”

“How is that even possible in a surgery department where people are recovering after surgeries? How about sterility?” she asked.

Duct tape is a great invention, which can be successfully applied in many areas of life. But some, including Anna, fear using it in a medical setting could lead to severe consequences and increases in the risk of wounds getting infected.

Naturally, Anna shared her thoughts with a male nurse but he rebuffed her, saying that the surgery department simply ran out of sterile plasters.

Concerned with the wellbeing of her mom and other patients, Anna went straight to the media and her story was quick to make waves.

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When the journalists asked the Amur Region’s Health Ministry for an explanation, it declared that use of stationary duct tape instead of adhesive plasters was unacceptable at medical facilities.

The ministry confirmed that the surgery department ran out of plasters, but said that they were in hand at other units of the hospital and could’ve just been redistributed. The hospital is well-funded and “has all the means for timely procurement of consumables,” it added.

But the nurses defended the practice, with one of them telling the press that duct tape was used on a regular basis; not only when there are no plasters.”

“Many patients themselves ask for adhesive plasters not to be applied… Their use often leads to burns and allergic reaction,” another said.

However, their arguments had little effect on the Amur Region authorities, with Governor Vasily Orlov saying on Thursday that the chief doctor of the hospital had been fired.

The Investigative Committee and Prosecutor’s Office have also launched probes over the reports, saying that those responsible will face punishment if violations are found.

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