Doctors in Kenya perform brain surgery on wrong patient

Ebony Scott
March 3, 2018

The mistake last weekend apparently was caused by a mix-up of the patients' identification tags. It has emerged that the one who was supposed to receive the brain surgery because of a blood clot may not even need surgery at all, as the condition has been improving significantly.

The suspended include the neurosurgeon, the ward nurse, theatre receiving nurse, and the anaesthetist.

Kenyatta National Hospital Chief Executive Officer Dr Lilly Koros was on Friday March 2, 2018, sent on a compulsory leave by the Health CS Sicily Kariuki.


"We are happy to inform the public that the patient is in recovery and progressing well".

Instead, the doctors conducted a full blown operation on the wrong patient's brain.

It appears in this system, the surgeon will have no contact with the patient, waits in the theatre, and follows the information in the files to carry out critical surgery.

A source told the Daily Nation that staff had no way of knowing they were operating on the wrong patient because he was unconscious.

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

The brain surgery was scheduled to be performed on a patient who had a blood clot on the brain.

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

Both showed that there, indeed, was a blood clot in his head. "The second patient, who was scheduled to go for surgery is, fortunately, also stable, he has been put on treatment and is under watch".

"I have also asked them to submit certified and paginated files of both patients and statements of the personnel", CEO of the board Daniel Yumbya said in a letter.

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

Other reports by GizPress

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