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Services at KNH paralysed as registrars strike over botched brain surgery

By Nasibo Kabale | Published Mon, March 5th 2018 at 11:39, Updated March 5th 2018 at 12:45 GMT +3

Kenyatta National Hospital where registrars (trainee consultants) are on strike until what they call systematic errors at the facility are solved. One of them was suspended after a surgical operation on the wrong patient. [Courtesy]

Services at Kenyatta National Hospital have been paralysed after about 700 registrars boycotted work protesting the suspension of their colleagues over a recent blunder where one of them opened the head of the wrong patient.

In the medical field, a registrar is a doctor in the Republic of Ireland and formerly in the United Kingdom who is receiving advanced training in a specialist field of medicine in order to eventually become a consultant.

Kenya tends to follow British professional traditions which is why the professionals are so named at KNH.  

According to the Kenya Medical Pharmacists and Dentists Union (KMPDU) Secretary General, Ouma Oluga, the systematic failures have led to mishaps in the hospital and it was unfair to suspend their colleagues over one of such failures.

He said that coupled with the lecturers strike the suspension has left them in a difficult position.

“We feel like we are not protected and this thing can now happen to anybody,” he said.

According to KNH, the two patients involved in a mix-up of identification tags that saw the wrong man operated on, were still receiving treatment at the hospital.

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The first patient was admitted to the general surgical ward on February 18, while the second one was admitted to the same ward on February 19.

In a statement they maintained the two had head injuries, but were in stable condition.

"The story on Angelos Miano, which story appeared in one of the daily newspapers and social media referring to him as one of the patients involved in the unintended surgery was not factual," added the statement.

However, this account has been discredited by the family of Angelos Miano, a university student who is reported to have died because he had missed out on surgery after the wrong patient was operated on in his place.

Even as the hospital's board said it could take up to one week to establish what caused the confusion that saw the wrong patient operated on, the registrars now want a complete overhaul of the systems at the embattled hospital.


More to follow.

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