A neurosurgeon at Kenya’s largest hospital has been suspended after performing brain surgery on the wrong patient, the hospital said in a statement today.
The scandal, which prompted an outpouring of horror on social media, is the latest drama to hit the Kenyatta National Hospital in recent weeks, after allegations of staff sexually assaulting patients, and the theft of a baby.
The hospital said the surgeon, as well as two nurses and an anaesthetist, had been suspended pending an investigation into the operation “on the wrong patient”.
Health Minister Sicily Kariuki also suspended the CEO of the hospital over the blunder.
An investigation by the Daily Nation newspaper revealed that two men had been taken to the hospital last Sunday.
The two men were wheeled into the hospital unconscious. One needed head surgery to remove a blood clot in his brain, while the other only required nursing and medication to heal a trauma swelling in his head, medically known as closed head injury.
Hours into the surgery doctors discovered there was no blood clot in the brain of their patient, and that they were in fact operating on the wrong man, the newspaper reported.
The hospital’s chief operating officer, Lily Koros, issued a statement announcing the suspension of four medics who were at work on that night. The hospital also expressed regret over the incident.
“The hospital deeply regrets this event and has done all it can to ensure the safety and well being of the patient in question,” read the statement from the hospital, adding the patient was “in recovery and progressing well,” Koros said.
Kenyatta National Hospital is Kenya’s oldest and largest hospital, and also serves as a teaching hospital.