A neurosurgery registrar at the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi is suspended after cutting open the skull of the wrong person, but his fellow doctors defend him.
The shocking surgery mix-up is reportedly a first for the country, and four medical staff members at the hospital are now suspended.
Brain Surgery On The Wrong Patient
One patient at the hospital reportedly needed treatment for swelling, which should have been non-invasive. Another patient, meanwhile, needed surgery for a blood clot on the brain. The medical staff somehow mixed up the identification tags of the two patients and the one who needed the non-invasive treatment ended up with his skull cut open.
It was already hours into the surgery that the doctors realized it was not the right patient as they didn't find any blood clot in the brain. The patient is reportedly recovering now and things are going well.
The hospital has now opened an investigation into the matter. The board that regulates medical practice in the country has also required the hospital to submit a report, and it will conduct a hearing.
Four Medical Staff Suspended Over Patient Mix-Up
Lily Koros, the CEO of the hospital, expressed deep regrets for this event and said the hospital will do everything possible to ensure the patient's safety and well-being. At the same time, Koros added that the management of the hospital has suspended four people: the neurosurgeon, the theatre receiving nurse, the ward nurse, and the anesthetist.
At the same time, the management has also decided to suspend the neurosurgery registrar's admission rights and slapped him with a show-cause letter for performing brain surgery on the wrong patient. A show-cause letter, as the name itself suggests, means that the registrar has to justify his actions.
Fellow Doctors Defend Surgeon Who Operated On The Wrong Patient
As The Star reports, fellow doctors at the hospital have defended the neurosurgery registrar, arguing that the blame should fall on the staff who handled the identification tags. According to the doctors, the nurses who prepped the patient for surgery have wrongly labeled the two patients, which resulted in this horrific 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," argued the fellow doctors. "Slapping a suspension on our colleague is totally erroneous, victimizing in nature and unwarranted."