KNH brain surgery mix-up explained
A nurse at Kenyatta National Hospital has revealed fresh details of the brain surgery mix-up that put the institution on the spot.
Appearing before the Parliamentary Health Committee on Wednesday, Mary Nyambura Wahome says she only realised that she had handed the doctors the wrong patient hours into the surgery.
While blaming too many patients and heavy workload for the mix up, Ms. Nyambura pointed out that there were 61 patients against three nurses. She told the committee that she realised the mistake after her colleague reported and asked her which patient was in the theatre.
According to Catherine Gakii, the theatre nurse present during the surgery, the doctor who performed the procedure, Hudson Ng’ang’a, called the ward to confirm whether it was the right patient and the response was in the affirmative.
“When the doctor called the ward, a confirmation came through that we had the right patient but the doctor could not find the clot,” recalled Ms. Gakii.
“The doctor confirmed that we had positioned the patient correctly and the incision was correct but still we could not find the clot.”
Gakii further narrated how Dr. Ng’ang’a then called in his superiors, among them Dr. Michael Magoha who came in and also tried to find the clot but found nothing.
After a second search by senior doctors the doctors decided to close the skull and run fresh CT scans on the patient.
“We were very devastated; it is something that has never happened to me in the 23 years I have worked as a nurse,” said Gakii.
“I regret that this happened to Samuel Wachira and I hope it never happens again,” said Dr. Ng’ang’a.
“I recommend that the patient should labelled by an armband and a picture taken upon being admitted to avoid such incidents.”