Crisis talks at KNH after patient fights nurse

February 8, 2011 12:00 am

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 8 – A two-hour crisis meeting was held at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) on Tuesday following a fight between a nurse and a patient on Monday night.

KNH Deputy Director in charge of Clinical Services Dr Simeon Monda said the scuffle broke out after a patient suspected to be under the influence of alcohol created a disturbance in the wards.

Dr Monda said other nurses got agitated when they heard about the incident and demanded for a meeting with the management.

"They selected a few representatives from all the wards who came to the meeting whereas the others who remained continued to provide the services," he said denying claims that there was a go-slow.

He said the meeting resolved to put in extra security to ensure the safety of the night staff as well as patients.

"We will do everything possible to ensure that their security is assured. Of course it may not be a 100 percent because when it comes to the very patients you are treating; you will not know who will attack who," he said.

"We agreed in the meeting that in level six (where the incident occurred) we should have security officers stationed there 24 hours so that the security of the nurses and even the patients themselves is also taken into account," he said.

Level six accommodates orthopaedic wards where patients with fractures are admitted.

He said that most of the time when there are such incidences, they involve patients who have stayed in the wards for long and are not bedridden.

"These are people who are able to move out, they change the hospital uniform and sneak out to buy some cigarettes and some even get alcohol," he said adding that sometimes the alcohol is brought in by relatives and friends.

"We receive up to 6,000 people who come to visit patients at every visit time so in a day we are talking about 18,000 people who come to visit. It is very difficult to check each and every bag that is brought to Kenyatta National Hospital and so you may find some people bring their patients alcohol," Dr Monda stated.

However a patient in one of the wards claimed that some nurses and doctors supply the alcohol, cigarettes and other hard drugs to the patients.

"There are members of staff who bring those things to some patients who then sell to others and those who sell are given some money," he claimed.

But Dr Monda said: "We have never arrested a member of staff bringing in such things to the ward."

The Kenyatta National Hospital is the largest referral hospital in the country. It was built to accommodate about 1,200 patients.

"But we always have over 2, 000 patients and then there is another 500 who are discharged and they are still in the ward because they can\’t clear the bill and go home," Dr Monda said.

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