Doctor from Kenya performs brain surgery on wrong patient

Students assisting surgery in an affiliated hospitalWikipedia/CMSRC

A doctor from Kenya seems to have a lot on his mind after committing a brain surgery accident when he operated on the wrong patient, causing quite a headache for the whole hospital.

Back on Friday, March 2, a brain surgery scheduled at the Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, which was Kenya's largest hospital, went awry when a neurosurgeon and his team, who remain anonymous, performed the operation on the wrong patient. The name of the said unfortunate patient was kept secret; likewise, the identity of the supposedly correct patient was left anonymous.

The medical mishap began when two patients were brought in at the same time in the hospital, both needed medical care but one required surgery to remove a blood clot to his brain while the other needed only medication for a swollen head. Somehow, the surgery team began operating on the latter and even continued for hours only to find out that there was no blood clot in the brain of their current patient and that he was the wrong one, while the one with the actual blood clot in his brain remained in waiting.

Apparently, both patients were unfortunate enough to share the same surname, hence the confusion. There were also reports that their identification tags got mixed up.

This was all according to the reports of Kenyan national newspaper, the Daily Nation. Since then, the surgery team which included two nurses, an anesthetist and the surgeon have been suspended from the hospital. Investigations have also been conducted as to how the mistake was carried out and who really was at fault.

Kenyan Health Minister Sicily Kariuki has also suspended the CEO of the said hospital while investigations are being conducted regarding the recent scandal as well as past allegations of staff sexually assaulting patients and theft of a baby in the hospital.

Meanwhile, the management of Kenyatta National Hospital has released a statement soon after the scandal saying "The hospital deeply regrets this event and has done all it can to ensure the safety and well-being of the patient in question." They have also assured everyone that the unfortunate patient was "in recovery and progressing well."

However, hundreds of the suspended neurosurgeon's colleagues are now on strike due to what they consider as an unjust suspension. It is not clear how long the punishment will last.