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KNH refute woman’s accusations of negligence

Kenyatta National Hospital has defended itself against accusations of negligence from a woman who claims the facility ignored her critically injured mother leading to her death.

The facility’s response comes after a city woman posted an online appeal for assistance accusing its management of calling for her arrest after she recorded videos detailing doctors’ alleged negligence that led to her elderly mother’s death.

Ms Hannah Njoki, 68, was admitted at KNH on August 25, 2018 with a severe head injury which she sustained from a road accident.

Her story was published by Nairobi News, prompting the hospital’s management to release the statement exonerating the facility from the allegations.

In a 27-minute video posted live on Kilimani Mums and Dads Facebook group, Karen Gacheru narrated how a doctor whom she identified ignored her mother’s critical condition for two days after she was admitted with a head injury.

However, in their statement, the hospital management failed to address the complainant’s concern about the facility’s reported calls for her arrest.

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The hospital also steered clear off claims that the complainant’s patient was not well attended to by the nurses at the hospital.

“My mother was knocked down by a motorbike sustaining a head injury on Saturday morning as she proceeded home after an overnight prayer session. I took her to KNH’s emergency unit. When we reached the hospital, the doctors who saw her told us she required admission in the intensive care unit (ICU). She was not admitted for two days despite our pleas,” said Ms Gacheru.

“After repeated pleas to the doctor who was attending to my mother, I remember the doctor telling us to transfer her to another hospital. When I requested for information on which procedure to follow, he ignored me,” the tearful Ms Gacheru further narrated.

“I was later called and told that my mother had passed away. When I questioned why they had neglected her, they called a counsellor to talk to me. During our session, I made a mistake of telling the official that I had recorded videos of a doctor who told me there was nothing she could do for my mum. Minutes later police came after me asking me to delete the videos I had taken. They searched me but luckily I did not have my phone so I escaped and came to record this video,” she continued.

KNH Clinical Services Director Dr Peter Masinde admitted that the woman had been admitted at the facility but said she was not admitted at the ICU ward contrary to doctors ‘orders since there was no available bed.

“Unfortunately, there was no available ICU bed at the ward and she was admitted in Ward 5B. However, treatment was initiated awaiting availability of a bed” said Dr Masindi.

LACK OF BED

The medic said the late Hannah’s relatives were informed of the lack of a bed and advised to transfer her to private facility, a recommendation which they declined due to lack of funds.

Her relatives were informed of the lack of a bed and advised to seek for an ICU bed in another hospital which they declined citing lack of funds to transfer her to the alternative facility, he said.

“It is regrettable that she passed away on August 28, 2018 while waiting for an ICU bed at the hospital,” said the official

Ms Gacheru alleged the nurses had neglected her mother, denying her attention and medication. She accused them of denying her mother oxygen and refusing to listen to her concerns as the accident survivor lay helpless in her ward, unable to breathe.

“I asked the doctors why my mum was being taken to Ward 5B yet doctors had recommended an ICU bed admission and they told me to seek services at a private facility. A nurse at the ward complained that my mother was too critical to stay at the ward but when she called the people at the emergency unit she complied and put our mother in a room. Why would a whole national referral hospital tell a poor Kenyan to seek help at a private facility?” she questioned.

Ms Gacheru said she was in fear for her life as strangers have been approaching her, asking her not to release the videos she recorded, so as not to expose the doctor whom she accused of neglecting her mother.