Coptic, KNH in trouble over ambulance patient’s death
Kenyatta National Hospital and Coptic Hospital are culpable for the negligence of the patient who died in hospital after being in an ambulance for 18 hours before he could be admitted for treatment.
The two, according to a ruling by the Kenya Medical Practitioners & Dentist Board and its Preliminary Inquiry Committee, will have to answer for the death of Mr Alex Madaga, who died last Friday at KNH after being turned away from various private hospitals following a serious road accident along Waiyaki Way.
“The committee finds that the complaint against KNH and Coptic has merit. Appropriate charge sheets will be drawn within the next 21 days and the matter be referred to the Professional Conduct Committee to be constituted by the Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board for further inquiry,” said Dr David Kiima the Chairman of the Preliminary Inquiry Committee into the matter.
In their preliminary findings on what happened to Madaga, the inquiry found that Madaga was taken to KNH in an ambulance while in critical condition and was later taken back to the referring facility, Kikuyu Hospital.
“He was returned the following day and there is no evidence that the issue was escalated to higher authorities in an effort to seek intervention or assistance,” said Dr Kiima.
He said KNH, being a National Referral Hospital should have made an effort to escalate the issue to other authorities, including the Ministry of Health.
“There is no evidence to show that the hospital undertook all requisite steps to refer the patient to another facility that could have helped under the circumstances of the case,” he added.
He continued, “We find that the hospital allowed a critically ill patient to be returned to the referring hospital for oxygen instead of taking appropriate steps to intervene.”
At Coptic hospital, the enquiry found that nobody bothered to attend to the patient, apparently because he could not pay the requisite deposit.
“A critically ill patient arrived at the hospital in an ambulance but he was not examined by a clinician nor admitted. Further; there was no documentation to show steps done by its nurse or staff at the material time,” said Dr Kiima of the committee’s findings.
“The staff working at the facility at the material time failed to follow the hospital’s ICU admission policy as explained by the facility’s Medical Director in respect to patient Madaga”.
Following, the preliminary investigations, the committee found that there is no merit to warrant further enquiry against P.C.E.A Kikuyu hospital the Nairobi Women’s Hospital and Ladnan Hospital, which were also under enquiry for negligence that led to the death of Madaga.
Kikuyu Hospital was however reprimanded for not ensuring the availability of a qualified clinician to accompany the patient who was critically ill during time of transfer.
Nairobi Women’s Hospital was exonerated after it was found that it had contacted other hospitals to try and find out if they had any available ICU beds to admit the patient.
Ladnan was also cleared after confirmation that the ICU beds at the facility were occupied at the time, necessitating referral of the patient.