House team says KNH should nurse botched surgery duo

Irene Githinji @gitshee

National Assembly’s Health Committee wants the government to consider appropriate remedial action on the two patients involved in surgery mix-up at Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) last month.

The committee also said KNH should take full responsibility for the full recovery of the two patients—John Nderitu and Samuel Wachira—involved in the surgery. It has also called for further reviews to be conducted on the two patients with the possibility of exploring a second opinion.

These are part of the recommendations that the Health committee, chaired by Sabina Chege, tabled in the National Assembly yesterday afternoon after days of interrogating the matter and taking submissions from witnesses involved in the surgery.

The committee also explored other issues affecting the hospital and included their recommendations in the 66-page report. Members also wants the recommendations of the Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentist Board (KMPDB) report be expeditiously implemented.

The implementation should include and not limited to the Nursing and Clinical Councils of Kenya respectively, immediately reviewing the conduct and practice of nurses and clinical officers involved in the case.

“All medical regulatory bodies including KMPDB, Nursing Council and Clinical Officers Council of Kenya, Pharmacy and Poisons Board should review their standard operating procedures and align them to emergent good practices in the world,” the team recommended.

On leadership and management at KNH, members said there exists a culture of reaction and unresponsiveness rather than proactiveness. It pointed to systemic failures at the hospital, which are partly as a result of non-compliance with laid down guidelines and standard operating procedures.

“Handover of patients at the hospital is haphazard and is not done physically, from one patient to the other. This gives room to confusion and probable mix-up. Moreover, patients requiring different interventions are kept on the same ward.

Nurse Mary Wahome did not attend the handover on the day of mix-up.” read the report. At the same time, the committee has recommended that the hospital strictly enforces the referral strategy and ensure proper referral documentation on admission in addition to digitising its systems.

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