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Straight Out of a Horror Movie: Doctors Operate on Wrong Patient!

It was like a scene straight out a horror movie when a man woke up to find out that his head had been cut open by doctors who had mixed up identification tags and operated on the wrong patient.

A Horrifying Mix-Up

Captured: 2017, Surgeons at Kenyatta National Hospital performing a routine operation 

A man in Nairobi, Kenya checked himself into a nearby hospital for a non-invasive treatment for swelling, but little did he know that he was about to fall prey to a horrifying mix-up that would leave him scarred for life.

The surgeons at the Kenyatta National Hospital accidentally performed a brain surgery on the wrong patient, but only realized their mistake after they had cut his skull open.

In the wake of the incident, a number of hospital staff including the CEO, nurses, surgeons who performed the invasive procedure and the anesthetist have been laid off indefinitely.

In the blood-curling mix-up, one of the patients was supposed to undergo a brain surgery to remove a blood clot while the other only needed a non-invasive procedure to reduce swelling. Unfortunately, their identification tags got mixed up, and after being sedated, they were carried to different operating rooms by the hospital staff.

Out of Danger

Kenyatta National Hospital

The doctors didn’t bother to verify the patient’s identity or medical records and wasted no time in commencing such a risky procedure which could have ended someone’s life. It took the surgeons hours to realize that the man on the operating table was completely healthy. After cutting open his skull and probing his brain for a while, they couldn’t find the blood clot – because there wasn’t any!

According to the hospital’s report, the patient who had underdone the accidental surgery is out of any danger and is recovering from the physical and mental ordeal. The authorities have also launched an investigation against the hospital for their careless mistake and further details are expected to be released only after the formal hearing.

People over the internet have expressed their horror over how such a serious mistake could be allowed to happen inside a hospital. This is the second time Kenyatta National Hospital has come under fire in six weeks after a recent investigation by the health minister revealed that several new mothers had been intimately assaulted by the staff at the same hospital.

Whose Fault Was it?

The CEO of Kenyatta, Lily Koros also released an apology on behalf of the staff expressing her regrets on the horrible incident. She also assured that the hospital will do everything in its power to ensure the wellbeing of the patient, who has been making progress in his recovery.

The neurosurgeons in question have been stripped of their admission rights and issued with show-cause notice as repercussions for their actions. All staff members involved in the accident are required to submit a detailed report to the hospital management to explain their actions.

Many doctors have protested against the suspension of their colleagues, saying that the management should punish those who mixed up the identification tags instead of the surgeons who were simply doing their job. Others argued that all doctors must follow strict protocol before performing an intrusive procedure on a patient. The process involves planning, investigating, preparing, and verifying at every step of the procedure, which is why it isn’t often that you hear about a wrong skull being cut open in hospitals around the world.

Another Case of Medical Malpractice

Dennis Onsongo, the patient who received the accidental surgery 

Kenya’s medical practice regulator, Daniel Yumbya, says that the strange case is the first of its kind in the world and strict action needs to be taken in order to ensure that it doesn’t happen again. Kenya isn’t new to such medical incidents which have put several patients’ lives in danger. The medical board has heard over thousand malpractice cases in the past two decades.

In an effort to defend the surgeons, the doctors’ union explained that the mix-up had occurred due to staff shortage and insufficient operation rooms which had become overwhelming for the hospital. On any given day, the doctors were expected to perform anywhere between 10 to 20 operations, as per the admission of Kenya Medical Practitioners’ CEO.

Miraculously, both patients are in good health and have made significant improvement in their recovery since the incident. In fact, the patient with the actual blood clot may not need a brain surgery after all, since his condition has improved drastically.

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