Doctors perform brain surgery on wrong patient

Kenyatta National Hospital. FILE

There has been an outpouring of rage in the social media after a neurosurgeon at Kenya's largest hospital performed brain surgery on the wrong patient.

She said four staff - the neurosurgeon, ward nurse, theatre receiving nurse and anaesthetist - had been suspended. A baby was kidnapped two weeks ago and on January 20 some nursing mothers complained they had been assaulted or sexually harassed on their way to breastfeed their infants.

"I have directed the board that the CEO of this organisation, with the colleague responsible for clinical matters of this hospital, are sent on compulsory leave forthwith and in their place two experts will be taking over to run this institution for the period the investigations will be done and a decision reached".

The Daily Nation reported that doctors did not realise they had opened the skull of the wrong patient until two hours into the procedure meant to remove a blood clot.

The hospital's chief operating officer, Lily Koros, issued a statement announcing the suspension of four medics who were at work on that night.

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Kenyans have expressed shock at the latest incident.

"The hospital deeply regrets this event and has done all it can to ensure the safety and wellbeing of the patient in question", read the statement from the hospital, adding the patient was "in recovery and progressing well".

The mistake last weekend apparently was caused by a mix-up of the patients' identification tags. Some have demanded the resignation of the entire hospital board of management in the wake of the controversies that have tarnished the hospital. "We are happy to inform the public the patient is recovering very well".

"The staff in theatre had no way of telling they were operating on the wrong patient because he was unconscious", a source, who requested anonymity because of the sensitivity of the matter, said. A show-cause letter requires a staff member to account for his or her actions.

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