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Kenyan doctors defend colleagues who operated on brain of wrong patient

March 02, 2018 at 08:21 am | News

Farida Dawkins

Farida Dawkins | Contributor

March 02, 2018 at 08:21 am | News

Accident and Emergency Department of Kenyatta National Hospital...photo credit: UNC School of Medicine UNC Chapel-Hill

Doctors at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) in Nairobi, Kenya are up in arms over the suspension of a neurosurgeon and three other medical staff who performed brain surgery on a wrong patient.

The neurosurgeon, ward nurse, theatre receiving nurse and anaesthetist noticed the huge blunder after hours into the craniotomy surgery at the trauma theatre of KNH in February, reports Kenyan local news portal The Star.

The hospital suspended the admission abilities of the doctor and his team and issued him a show-cause letter; which calls for him to provide an explanation of the incident.

“As unit colleagues, we believe that while our friend may have exhibited some procedural shortcomings, the surgery was done on the wrong patient mainly because of wrong patient labelling by the ward staff, slapping a suspension on our colleague is totally erroneous, victimizing in nature and unwarranted,” said a group of doctors in a statement cited by The Star.

“KNH should sort out the system failure on their part. Today it is him, we don’t know who the failed system will nab tomorrow,” they added.

They also requested that supporters of reinstating the brain surgeon meet outside the principal’s court as a call to action for the suspension to be revoked.

KNH CEO Lily Koros stated that the hospital: “deeply regrets this event and has done all it can to ensure the safety and well-being of the patient in question. We are happy to inform the public that the patient is in recovery and progressing well.”

The victim who was at the hospital to be treated for swelling of his head is reported to be responding to treatment and might not need surgery as his condition has improved.

The hospital has been condemned for the mistake.

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