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Patient incorrectly prescribed HIV medication

Written by Lungile Thamela

When epileptic patient Thabang Madimabi collapsed, he never expected to wake up in hospital and on antiretrovirals (ARVs)  – especially since Madimabi is HIV negative. 

Thabang Madimabi is not HIV positive but claims an East Rand hospital incorrectly gave him ARVs (File photo)

Thabang Madimabi is not HIV positive but claims an East Rand hospital incorrectly gave him ARVs (File photo)

Madimabi collapsed in August while visiting family in Katlehong east of Johannesburg. He was rushed to Germiston’s Bertha Gxowa Hospital where he was given a prescription for tablets and sent home.

A month later, Madimabi finally found out what the tablets were for when he returned to the hospital a month later.  

“A nurse asked me where do I collect my ARV treatment?,”  Madimabi told OurHealth. “I then told her that I am not HIV positive but that I have epilepsy, and that was then the nurse gave me right treatment.”

Although Madimabi was incorrectly prescribed ARVs, he says he experienced no side-effects from his month-long treatment. However, the incident led him to ask how he could be sent home with the wrong treatment.

According to Gauteng Department of Health Spokesperson Steve Mabona, a paperwork mix up was to blame for the medication error.

“The patient was given an incorrect discharge summary, this meant that the prescription was wrong due to what was written on the discharge sheet,” said Mabona, who added Madimabi had been invited back to the hospital last year so that officials could formally apologise to him for the mix-up. Madimabi was then given the tuberculosis treatment he should have received earlier.

Mabona stressed that the mix up posed no threat to Madimabi’s life.

“This is an unfortunate incident,” Mabona added. “We are deeply sorry for (it) and we always impress upon our staff to take extra care while managing patients.” – Health-e News.

About the author

Lungile Thamela

Lungile Thamela is an OurHealth Citizen Journalist reporting from Gauteng's Johannesburg Health District.