NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 15 – Police in Nairobi are holding the mother of a deceased patient accused of assaulting a nurse at the Kenyatta National Hospital.
Pamela Akinyi, according to an Occurrence Book incident report recorded on Saturday at Kilimani Police Station, is said to have attacked Lillian Amollo, a nurse at the KNH after learning of her son’s death.
Elisha Juma, 17, is said to have passed away on Saturday while undergoing treatment for leukaemia, a condition for which he had been admitted in June.
According to the hospital’s Acting Chief Executive Officer Dr Thomas Mutie, a scuffle ensued between relatives of the deceased and nurses in ward 8C leading to the assault.
“When the ensuing scuffle was contained it was established that one of the nurses who had been preparing medication for another patient had been assaulted by the deceased’s relatives at the nurses’ desk,” read a statement released by KNH on Monday.
In the statement, Mutie said the assaulted nurse lost consciousness following the Saturday morning altercation and was consequently admitted to the High Dependency Unit where she is undergoing treatment.
“As a result of the assault, the nurse lost consciousness and was rushed to the Accident and Emergency Department where she was treated and admitted to the High Dependency Unit,” he said.
It was not immediately clear whether there were any grievances prior to the Saturday incident.
In his statement, Mutie urged patients and their families to channel disputes through laid down mechanisms.
“While we empathise with our patients and their families, and appreciate the uncertainty of medical outcomes, we would like to advise our customers to extend to attending staff, the same courtesies and mutual respect as they would expect in return,” he said.
KNH has in the past come under sharp criticism with allegations of negligence triggering the suspension of senior officials.
In March, Health Cabinet Secretary Sicily Kariuki suspended the hospital’s CEO Lily Koros after a 36-year-old patient accused doctors that had conducted a surgical operation of damaging her intestines.
KNH had a month prior to the botched surgery come under fierce criticism following a mix-up of patient records, an incident that resulted into a neurosurgical procedure being performed on the wrong patient.
Reacting to the March incident, Acting Chief Executive Officer, Dr Peter Masinde, refuted claims that the internal organs of 36-year-old Susan Nekesa were damaged during a Caesarean Section operation conducted on her on January 24.
“During this particular caesarean 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,” the acting CEO told a news conference on March 23.
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 theatre 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 caesarean 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.