The management at Kenyatta National Hospital has denied reports linking its staff to malpractice in an alleged botched caesarian section.
During a press conference at the hospital on Friday evening, acting clinical services director Dr Peter Masinde said the internal organs of Susan Nekesa were not damaged during an operation conducted on her early this year.
Nekesa, 36, said she lost a twin girl delivered through the operation and that her intestines were damaged following the surgery.
Dr Masinde said the patient was admitted to the hospital having a history of a previous caesarian section. He added that she also had a history of high blood pressure in the previous pregnancy.
“In view of having a previous caesarian section and eclampsia (pregnancy-related high blood pressure), she had to be delivered by emergency caesarian section which was done promptly and delivered two female premature babies who were admitted to the new born unit,” said the doctor.
He was emphatic that there were no complications during the operation.
However, Dr Peter Migiro said, one of the babies developed neonatal jaundice.
“The baby was found to be suffering from neonatal sepsis requiring strong antibiotics, which were administered. We also gave the baby formula feeds,” he said.
Dr Migiro said the baby’s condition deteriorated requiring resuscitation but was not successful and she succumbed the same morning.
He said the first twin has since stabilised and was discharged from the new born unit on Thursday evening.
Nurse in charge of the newborn unit Diana Khisa denied claims by the mother that one twin had choked on formula feed while being fed and died.
We are not aware of such a report regarding the circumstances surrounding the baby’s death. Those allegations are simply not true,” said the nurse.
Dr Masinde asked the media not to scare Kenyans away from the facility.
“I can confirm that patients are safe in this facility. Operations are going on in the theatres and deliveries are still taking place in the maternity wing. Stop scaring Kenyans from visiting KNH,” he said.
The health workers were at pains to deny allegations of denying the family information on the patient’s progress.
“It is not hospital policy to withhold information from patients’ immediate family members, although we protect their confidentiality and privacy by keeping it from other extended family members and friends,” said Ms Khisa.
“We kept the family, particularly Nekesa’s husband, informed about his wife’s progress and status at every stage of the treatment. He was in the picture,” insisted paediatrician Dr Gathoni Gacheru
Dr Masinde said the facility remained committed to delivering what he termed “the highest quality of care”.
“Our patients remain our primary priority and we are committed to delivering the highest standards of healthcare to all Kenyans. Our efforts to deliver on this mandate not only depend on us as KNH, but also on the goodwill of the public and all our stakeholders,” he said.
“Healthcare is a collective responsibility. We urge all to remain objective and balanced in public discussion about KNH,” he said.
Among the improvements he named were patient tagging procedures and heightened security measures at the facility.
“Additionally, we are continually improving our internal systems to avoid recurrence of regrettable events that have been seen in the past.
These include considerable progress in improving our physical security, increased CCTV coverage, patient tagging and transparent communication,” the acting clinical services director said.