Headache for brain surgeon who operated on the wrong patient

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Kenya's doctors' union defended staff at the largest referral hospital on Friday after they were suspended for operating on the wrong patient.

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

But according to The Star, the doctor's colleagues had protested the suspension, saying that the nurses who prepared the patient for surgery were the ones at fault for wrongly labelling the two patients.

In a statement Thursday, the hospital's CEO said that four medical personnel had been suspended - the neurosurgeon, ward nurse, theater receiving nurse and anesthetist.

Hospital chief executive Lily Koros has come forward to say that they "deeply regret" the mix up, according to the BBC.

The patient who underwent the brain surgery is recovering. Both patients are recuperating well, in what has been described as a "miracle of some sort".

Kariuki said the steps taken by the management to apportion responsibility to people who should have taken measures to ensure the unfortunate incident does not happen was right.

"Besides, the file details and patient label tallied".

It was apparently more than two hours into the procedure before they realised he had been mistaken for another patient. After the consultant on call was informed, doctors chose to close the patient and perform tests to re-evaluate.

The doctor examined a CT scan of the patient and his file before recommending surgery.

However, the scan was from the wrong patient and the team did not discover the mistake until after the surgeon was halfway into the operation.

This comes as health professionals speculated about who was responsible for one of the worst reported cases of medical negligence.

However, during admission, the one with the swelling was given the name and ID number of the one who had a blood clot in the brain.

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