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Man sues hospital, claims forceps left in his body after surgical operation

By Harold Odhiambo | Jan 30th 2022 | 3 min read

Newton Gogo avered he had unknowingly been living with a surgical tool in his body until June 3, 2021. [Courtesy]

A man has sued Nairobi Women's Hospital over claims artery forceps was left in his body during a surgery at the facility on November 12, 2019.

Arterial forceps, also known as a hemostat or a hemostatic clamp, is a surgical tool that resembles a pair of scissors and is used in many surgical procedures to control bleeding from blood vessels by clamping the artery.

In the case he has filed at the Milimani Chief Magistrate's court, Newton Gogo avers he had unknowingly been living with a surgical tool in his body until June 3 last year when an X-ray examination revealed it.

The applicant says he has endured persistent pain that has seen him in and out of various health facilities in search of a solution.

Gogo swears he was forced to undergo another surgery in September last year to remove the foreign object from his body.

In his suit, he accused the hospital of negligence and has been maimed for life, noting that he is unable to perform any major physical activity.

Gogo's court documents seen by The Standard indicate that the incident happened when he was still a student at Alliance High School. It followed an accident when he was injured in the abdomen by broken glass while at school after which staff at the school took him to Nairobi Women’s Hospital at Adams Arcade for medical attention.

In a written statement, Gogo claimed he was admitted to the facility between November 12, 2019, and November 16, 2019, before he was discharged.

“After the emergency operation and discharge from the defendant’s facility, I have had stomach pains without knowing what the problem was,” Gogo says.

At first, he claimed, he thought the pain was a normal post-operation effect. However, it persisted and he visited several hospitals to find a solution but in vain.

In the plaint filed through the law firm Otieno, Yogo, Ojuro and Company Advocates, Gogo has listed five hospitals he claims he visited in search of treatment.

Nairobi Women's Hospital branch at Adams Arcade, Nairobi. [Wilberforce Okwiri, Standard]

He claims he finally got a breakthrough on June 3, last year when a medical officer at the Kisumu County Hospital recommended an X-ray that revealed that a foreign object was inside his body.

However, in its replying affidavit, the facility wants the court to dismiss the suit after denying Gogo's claims.

The hospital says the x-ray forms that Gogo is relying on in the case are not authentic.

“The defendant specifically denies that the alleged object found in the plaintiff’s body belongs to it, and the plaintiff is put to strict proof thereof,” reads their affidavit.

Gogo claimed he did another X-ray at a different facility that also confirmed the presence of the artery forceps in his body.

Following the revelation, he sought the help of two professional consultants who operated on him to remove the object from his body.

“I underwent an emergency corrective surgery to remove the foreign object, the artery forceps, where the said object was surgically removed after several hours in the operation room having been admitted on August 6, 2021, to August 13, 2021,” he says.

After the surgery, he alleged, he was again readmitted to the hospital after his wound developed complications and became septic.

He has lined up four witnesses to testify against the hospital and has listed seven grounds to build a case of professional negligence against the Nairobi Women's Hospital.

The lawsuit faults the facility for allegedly failing to follow the proper medical procedure before and after an operation and claims the facility failed to account for all the items that were used in his surgery.

He has also faulted the facility for failing to ensure due diligence and closing him up without ascertaining that there was no foreign object left in him.

Gogo is seeking four orders including an order on damages for pain and negligent surgery as well as an unnecessary corrective surgery. Gogo is also seeking payment from the hospital for aggravated damages as well as the cost of the suit.

The court is yet to set a mention date for the lawsuit.

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