Kenya on Friday suspended the chief executive of its largest hospital after a neurosurgeon reportedly performed brain surgery on the wrong patient. The neurosurgeon was also suspended.
The incident at Nairobi’s Kenyatta National Hospital has prompted outrage on social media over the last week, and some have called for board members to resign.
The hospital had also suspended two nurses and an anaesthetist for “apparently operating on the wrong patient”, the hospital’s Chief Executive Officer Lily Koros Tare said on Thursday. The next day, she, along with the director of clinical services, was sent on compulsory leave by Cabinet Secretary for Health Sicily Kariuki.
On February 18, a medical team had opened a patient’s skull to remove a blood clot that they realised did not exist hours into the surgery, Daily Nation reported. The patient was in hospital only for medication for a swollen head. The mix-up is believed to have occurred because the identification tags of two patients got swapped.
After the newspaper published a report about the incident, the hospital issued a statement on March 1 that the seven-day period for the suspended employees to respond to a show cause notice would end on March 2. It is not yet clear whether they responded to the notice.
“The hospital deeply regrets this event and has done all it can to ensure the safety and well-being of the patient in question,” the hospital said in a statement. It said the patient was “in recovery and progressing well”.