How wrong patient got under the knife, KNH medics tell MPs
6 months ago, 14 Mar 14:49
Kenyatta National Hospital staff have revealed details of the brain surgery foul-up that further tainted the reputation of Kenya's largest referral hospital. Several employees faced the National Assembly Health committee on Wednesday, following the surgery that took place on February 19. A nurse identified only as Mary said there were 15 patients in the ward on that day. She said she went in and called out a patient, John Nderitu, who responded but "seemed very confused". Mary took Nderitu with her without asking questions. "I went back to the station to prepare the file and the patient's antibiotics," a seemingly uneasy Mary said, adding she informed the patient that he was headed for surgery. "He agreed. After that, I requested the patient to cooperate with us," she said, adding the man was taken to the theater at 10pm on that day and received by trauma theater nurse Catherine Gakii. But Mary noted that at around 2am the following day, a nurse asked her if she had taken a patient by the name Nderitu to the theater. "I told him the patient was in the trauma theater. At 6:30 am, Miriam Bera, a nurse, asked me the same question so I felt something was off." Mary said she did not answer Bera's question and thought she had taken the wrong patient to the theater. "I told her 'it seems as if I took the wrong patient to the theater'. I went to theater and told them that I had taken the wrong patient there," she told MPs. Mary said she spoke to scrub nurse Gladys Wanjala and nurse Esther Muchiri who was in charge of the floor. "Muchiri proceeded to the trauma theater and talked to Gakii. At that point, Gakii decided to hold a 'small' meeting with us, doctors and the people in charge of the surgery." The nurse said the meeting discussed what had happened and the way forward. "We then went back to the ward and left at midday after a discussion with nursing assistants," she said, noting they had not engaged with management since noticing the mix-up. They met the managers on March 5. When she appeared before the committee, Gakii said that on that day, her daytime team leader Hellen Kirui handed overnight duties before leaving. "In the report, I found that one patient was to go to the theater and was to be prepared," she said. Gakii said the file had a special request on Nderitu. "He was not received because the blood was not ready so he was wheeled back to ward Five A," she said, adding she was asked to facilitate the provision of the blood. "Meanwhile, I continued preparing other patients for surgery. At 9 pm, I called the ward and informed them to prepare Nderitu because the blood was ready." Gakii said Nderitu was taken to the theater at 10pm. She went into the room and called him by name. "He did not respond so I asked 'are you Nderitu'. He nodded and murmured..." she recounted. The theater nurse said ward assistant Mary Wahome then gave ...
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