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KNH denies claims of another botched surgery

The scandal-tainted KNH has been under intense scrutiny – including recently by a National Assembly Committee – after multiple cases of negligence were unearthed. Photo/COURTESY KNH.

NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 23 – The Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) has denied botching yet another surgical operation leading to the damage of the intestines of a patient at the referral facility, days after a brain surgery mix-up that led to the suspension of the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer.

Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr. Peter Masinde, told a media briefing Friday evening that the internal organs of 36-year-old Susan Nekesa were not damaged during a Caesarian Section operation conducted on her on January 24.

“During this particular caesarian operation, there was no complication. She (Nekesa) was taken back to maternity ward post operation where she remained stable for the next 4 days when she started complaining of abdominal pains, swelling, and vomiting,” he said.

According to Dr. Masinde, health officers at the hospital diagnosed a blockade in Nekesa’s intestines after she complained of abdominal pains.

“She was reviewed by a team of surgeons who diagnosed her to have an intestinal obstruction which is a surgical emergency that required surgery. She was adequately prepared for theater and done for surgery on 2nd February 2018,” he said insisting that no injury to internal organs was observed at the time of the second procedure.

Dr Masinde said doctors successfully removed dead tissues which resulting from the hindrance of blood flow in a section of the intestines.

“It was found that a section of her small intestines has herniated through a defect of rectus sheath that was not in any way linked to the caesarian section,” he explained.

“That section of the small intestines had been trapped and become gangrenous (impaired blood flow leading to death of tissues in the section), which was removed and an artificial passage was created to the outside of the abdominal wall (ileostomy) through which the patient had to pass waste,” he said, adding that the closure of the ileostomy would ordinarily be done between six to eight weeks once the patient’s intestines recover.

The hospital said the patient has been booked for the third surgery on Monday next week to examine complications she had developed after which she would recover in about a week.

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The scandal-tainted KNH has been under intense scrutiny – including recently by a National Assembly Committee – after multiple cases of negligence were unearthed.

On February 25, the hospital conducted a neurosurgical procedure on a wrong patient after mixing up records of two patients – John Mbugua Nderitu (38) and Samuel Kimani Wachira (37).
Both patients have since been discharged.

The National Assembly Health Committee had earlier this week recommended the compensation of the patients while further seeking the dissolution of the hospital’s eleven-member board.

Lawmakers raised alarm over the increased cases of negligence with Majority Leader, Aden Duale, describing the situation as one that was getting out of hands.

“The Kenyatta National Hospital case is a sad story. Patients are treated for wrong ailments. You go with a knee injury you are given tuberculosis tablets,” he said.

Following the neurosurgical mix-up, Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki suspended the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Lily Koros amid uproar from a section of MPs who accused her of witch hunt.

By Thursday, over one hundred lawmakers had signed up for Kariuki’s ouster motion later retreating after the Jubilee Party, from which party majority of the legislators were, prevailed upon them to shelve the quest.

The motion had been proposed by Mandera North MP Bashir Abdullahi.

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