Brain surgeons perform procedure on wrong patient

Kenyatta National Hospital. FILE

Doctors at Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi did not realise they had opened the skull of the wrong patient until two hours into the procedure meant to remove a blood clot.

It is reported that when the doctors had spent some hours performing the surgery, they realized that there was no blood clot and that they were performing the surgery on the wrong person.

They had the wrong patient.

"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".

Both were admitted to ward 5A, which was for general surgery and trauma patients without fractures.

The Daily Nation said it was not identifying the two men to respect their privacy.

"Besides, the file details and patient label tallied".

At least two doctors involvedare furious over their suspension, saying nurses who prepared the patient for surgery are at fault, according to Kenya's The Star.

After consulting a senior neurosurgeon, the operating doctor reportedly was instructed to proceed no further, clean up the area and close the head.

The doctor examined a CT scan of the patient and his file before recommending surgery.

However, the scan was from the wrong patient and the team did not discover the mistake until after the surgeon was halfway into the operation.

The names of the patients, who were operated on over the weekend, had not been released on Friday. "The second patient, who was scheduled to go for surgery is, fortunately, also stable, he has been put on treatment and is under watch".

She also announced the interdiction of the staff involved in the surgery pending the outcome of investigations into how the mix-up came about.

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