Wednesday, 17 October, 2018

Protest over suspension of doctors who operated wrong patient in Kenya

Kenyatta National Hospital is Kenya's oldest and largest hospital and also serves as a teaching hospital Protest over suspension of doctors who operated wrong patient in Kenya
Melissa Porter | 06 March, 2018, 15:41

A Kenyan neurosurgeon was suspended for performing brain surgery on wrong patient. As a result of the mishap, the surgeon, two nurses, an anesthetist and the hospital's CEO have all been suspended by Kenya's health minister. The doctors refused to resume work until the hospital addresses underlying procedural problems such as issues with the hospital's booking system, staff shortages and inadequate equipment.

It's unclear how long the suspensions will last.

The registrars held a meeting with officials of the Kenya Medical Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) in the morning.

Oluga said doctors there are "overwhelmed".

Understaffing is a problem across Africa, including Kenya, as many medical professional leave their home countries to pursue career opportunities overseas, according to the World Health Organization. The patients in the surgery mix-up were admitted with head injuries on February 18 and 19.

It's understood that two men had been wheeled into the hospital a week ago, one needed surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain, while the other only required nursing and medication to heal a trauma. A mix up with ID tags led to the wrong patient being operated on.

The Daily Nation explained that patients were prepared for surgery and taken into the operating room with a name tag on their gowns to identify them.

Ithai said the patient [UoN student] who made the news on Sunday, was unrelated to the surgical blunder reported at the hospital. It has been more than a week since a registrar - a specialist doctor in training - cut open the skull of the patient, who was only meant to have a non-invasive procedure, but the outrage over the mistake is still mounting.

Koros was sent on compulsory leave last week following the incident that has embarrassed the region's largest referral hospital. Koros assured the hospital was doing all it could to "ensure the safety and well-being of the patient in question".