Doctors in Kenya perform brain surgery on wrong patient

Doctors in Kenya perform brain surgery on wrong patient

The craniotomy was intended for a patient suffering a blood clot, but a mix-up in identification tags resulted in the switch, Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi said in a Thursday statement.

Surgeons only discovered the mistake after failing to find a clot in the brain of the man whose head they had opened.

This follows a brain surgery on the wrong patient.

This comes just a day after doctors at the hospital conducted a brain surgery on a wrong patient which caused a public uproar.

The two were shown door to pave way for investigations over the surgery done to a wrong patient.

Both were admitted to ward 5A, which covers general surgery and trauma patients without fractures. The patient who underwent brain surgery is recovering.

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The Daily Nation said it was not identifying the two men to respect their privacy.

"The mix up started at the point of dressing the patient, because the patient who was to be taken to theatre had the names but they belonged to the one who ought not to have been taken to theatre", she said revealing both were in the Emergency Casualty wing.

After consulting a senior neurosurgeon on call, the operating doctor was instructed to proceed no further, clean up the area and close the head. In a twist, the patient who actually has a blood clot may not get surgery after all because their condition has improved.

These "wrong-site, wrong-procedure, wrong-patient errors" (WSPEs) are rightly termed "never events" - errors that should never occur.

The hospital's chief operating officer, Lily Koros, said in a statement that the neurosurgeon, ward nurse, theatre receiving nurse and anaesthetist had been suspended.

She also announced the interdiction of the staff involved in the surgery pending the outcome of investigations into how the mix-up came about.