‘Wrong man’s head’ cut open in surgeon mix-up

Four medics in Kenya have reportedly been suspended after surgeons cut open the wrong man’s head.

It was apparently more than two hours into the procedure before they realised he had been mistaken for another patient.

Two men were taken, unconscious, to Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi on Sunday, the Daily Nation reported.

Both were admitted to ward 5A, which covers general surgery and trauma patients without fractures.

One needed surgery to remove a blood clot from his brain, while the other simply required nursing and medication to heal a swelling to his head, caused by trauma.

The clot had been spotted on a CT scan, but after the patients’ identification tags got mixed up, the wrong man was wheeled into surgery, the newspaper said.

Surgeons only discovered the mistake after failing to find a clot in the brain of the man whose head they had opened.

Fortunately, both patients are said to be in a good condition. The one who had the clot might not now need surgery because his condition has improved significantly.

The Daily Nation said it was not identifying the two men to respect their privacy.

The hospital’s chief operating officer, Lily Koros, said in a statement that the neurosurgeon, ward nurse, theatre receiving nurse and anaesthetist had been suspended.

“The management has suspended the admission rights of a neurosurgery registrar and issued him with a show-cause letter for apparently operating on the wrong patient,” Ms Koros said.