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Blundering KNH in yet another surgical mishap

Kenyatta National Hospital was on Thursday evening battling yet another storm following allegations of a caesarean section surgical mishap and the death of one of the twin girls delivered through the operation.

The mother, Susan Nekesa, has been admitted to the hospital for close to two months now and has no hopes of leaving soon as she nurses complications arising from an operation in which a patient is normally discharged within days.

She walked into the hospital on January 25 in labour and delivered twin girls the following day.

Hours after the surgery, Nekesa’s stomach started swelling and she began experiencing such excruciating pain that she could barely speak.

SMALL INTESTINES

A report by Citizen TV on Wednesday night showed the distraught new mother struggling to sit up in bed, speaking between sobs, and revealing that she has been praying that she does not lose her memory.

A week after she developed the complications, she was wheeled back to theatre, and it was then that doctors admitted they had made a mistake during the C-section.

“A portion of her small intestines — about 50cm long — was outside the chamber where it was supposed to be,” Robert Sitati, her husband, said.

Doctors removed the affected part and left a small opening, known as a stoma, in her stomach to allow her pass stool through a colostomy bag attached to her side.

Ms Nekesa is just one of the many patients who silently suffer the consequences of medical malpractice, which seems to have reached high levels in Kenya in recent days.

MALPRACTICE

Specialists define malpractice as bad, wrong, or injudicious treatment of a patient, resulting in injury or harm.

Studies have shown that malpractice and negligence in Kenyan hospitals often happens in the form of misdiagnosis, wrong decisions and treatment, prescription errors, and medical or surgical complications, all of which may result in suffering, permanent injury, or death.

And, while Nekesa’s story has gripped the nation now, complaints against Kenyan hospitals and doctors have been as frequent as they have been diverse, ranging from long waiting periods and delays in getting attended to in health facilities, to negligent management of labour resulting in stillbirths, complications with the baby or, as in Nekesa’s case, the mother; and maternal death.

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