NURSES ACCUSED OF NEGLIGENCE AFTER PATIENT’S DEATH

Mbagathi hospital. Nurses at the city hospital are on the spot following the death of a patient in what has been termed by the deceased’s kin as negligence. FILE PHOTO | NATION MEDIA GROUP

By LILLIAN MUTAVI
Nurses at a city hospital are on the spot following the death of a patient in what has been termed by the deceased’s kin as negligence.
The family of Bernard Odhiambo claims their patient was denied treatment at Mbagathi hospital after being referred from Mama Lucy hospital, both run by the county government of Nairobi.

However, the county government and the Mbagathi hospital administration have put a twist on the matter claiming the deceased arrived at the hospital already dead.
According to the county Executive for health Bernard Muia, Mr Odhiambo died before arriving at the facility.
The distraught family, took to social media to vent their frustrations and anger, following the Saturday incident.
To them, the patient was referred from Mama Lucy hospital to Mbagathi for lack of isolated wards for TB patients.
However Dr Muia, speaking on phone, contradicted the family stating that they had been advised to take the deceased back home since he was still under medication and that there was provision for home based medical care for TB patients.
“Once you are suffering from Tuberculosis and you are under medication, the doctors can advise your family to have a home based care but they were unsatisfied so they decided to take him to Mbagathi Hospital,” he said.
But the deceased’s cousin, Evans Ayodo, speaking on phone, said he had accompanied the deceased from 9am; hired a taxi from Mama Lucy to Mbagathi where they were not attended to by a nurse.
“I rushed to the casualty, explained my case to a seemingly old nurse but she rubbished me saying they only handle such cases during weekdays. I had to explain to her that it was an emergency, that my cousin was critically sick. She then told me to get a wheelchair then transfer him to one of the beds,” narrated Mr Ayodo on phone.
But on the county’s defence, Dr Muia said that the patient did not spend eight hours unattended to as claimed by his family but only two minutes where the examination officer declared him dead on arrival.
Mr Ayodo, however, said that another nurse who was attending a patient on the next bed near his cousin’s, asked for the referral letter which she read and responded that the patient’s condition was not critical.
“I approached the Medical Officer, told her our problem, she asked for the referral letter, tried handing over to her but she just told me to open it up so she could read while I held it. I did just that then told her…"this is a critical case, please check on him"… her response was…“it’s not critical" then she walked away to the next room,” he said.
He added that at around 1pm, his cousin’s wife came to him as he was still pleading with the nurses and told him that her husband had become unresponsive.
Rushing to his bed, Mr Ayodo said, he missed his cousin’s pulse, he had died.
Mr Ayodo said that he called the nurse who walked in and declared the patient dead and directed him to another room to get a death notification.
However the county government has maintained that the man was never admitted to the hospital since he was pronounced dead on arrival.
The county also denies the family had any referral letter from Mama Lucy hospital.
SOURCE: NMG