KNH medics who cut into wrong brain provide a glimpse behind the theatre curtain

March 15, 2018 3:02 pm
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Ng’ang’a narrated how he and his surgical team began to suspect they may be operating on the wrong patient after they had cut into the skull but could not find the clot/CFM

, NAIROBI, Kenya, Mar 15 – The Kenyatta National Hospital doctors who operated on the wrong patient told the National Assembly committee on Health that the confusion was caused by the nurses who sent the wrong patient to the theatre.

Mary Nyambura Wahome who was the duty head nurse at the time testified before the committee that she only realised she had handed the doctors the wrong patient hours into the surgery.

She attributed the mix-up to too many patients and a heavy workload noting that on the fateful day they were managing 61 patients against three nurses.

The theatre team leader during the surgery Catherine Gakii and Hudson Ng’ang’a, a fourth year resident surgeon who performed the procedure recounted how they called the ward to confirm whether they had the right patient on the operating table and each time they got a response in the affirmative.

“We were very devastated; it is something that has never happened to me in the 23 years I have worked as a nurse, I regret that this happened to Samuel Wachira and I hope it never happens again,” said Gakii.

Ng’ang’a narrated how he and his surgical team began to suspect they may be operating on the wrong patient after they had cut into the skull but could not find the clot.

Dr. Michael Magoha also told the MPs how he was called in to assist in the matter and also tried to find the clot but found nothing.

It is at this point that he and another senior surgeon, who had been called in, decided to make a fresh incision which did not expose a clot either.

The senior doctors the doctors decided to close the skull and run fresh CT scans on the patient.

“Mercy Moraa and I proceeded with the surgery but I was surprised that I was not able to locate the clot. We proceeded to look for the clot but could not find any… then a decision was made to finish the surgery and close the wound,” he said.

“We realised the error after the surgery on the wrong patient was completed. Later, a Ward 5A nurse said they were concerned that they took the wrong patient to the theater,” he said.

Samuel Kimani and John Nderitu were all discharged late Wednesday, with doctors declaring that they are all out of danger and can recuperate at their homes.

Meanwhile, a section of the KNH Board and the Acting CEO Thomas Mutie were kicked out of the Sitting after the MPs accused the taking them casually.

The MPs led by Chairperson Sabina Chege (Muranga Woman Rep) and Stephen Mule (Matungulu) ordered Board Chairman Mark Bor, Mutie and three other members out for failing to come with the entire board.

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