Kenya Medical Practitioners and Dentists Council has absolved Kerugoya County Referral Hospital from wrongdoing in a case in which a child’s admission at the facility resulted in the amputation of three fingers.
In a report to the Senate Standing Committee on Health, the council said its Disciplinary and Ethics Committee found no evidence of medical negligence in the treatment and management of the minor at the facility.
“The Committee presented its findings and recommendations to the council in its meeting held in October 2023 where the decision was ratified,” KMPDC chief executive officer David Kariuki said.
He said the treatment of the minor, then one year and four months old was within the recommended standards.
Kariuki said a general surgeon reviewed the minor on March 13, 2023, and made a diagnosis of compartment syndrome of the right hand.
“An urgent fasciotomy was planned which was the same day after consent was given by the minor’s parents. Where a diagnosis of compartment syndrome has been made, fasciotomy is the recommended treatment,” the report to the Senate committee said.
The National Institute of Health defines fasciotomy as an emergency procedure used to treat acute compartment syndrome.
Compartment syndrome is when the pressure builds up in a non-compliant osseofascial compartment and causes ischemia leading to muscle and nerve necrosi.
It added that gangrene persisted in the affected fingers despite intervention and the surgical team recommended disarticulation of the affected digits to prevent further spread of death of body tissue.
The minor’s parents were distressed after their child, admitted on March 3, 2023, due to pneumonia, received an injection that caused his hand to swell.
The family stated that they had agreed to the surgery on the grounds that it would save their son’s hand, but was not informed that three fingers would be removed.
KMPDC prepared its report after Kirinyaga County Senator James Murango sought a statement from the Senate Standing Committee on Health regarding the amputation of the minor’s fingers.
The senator wanted the committee to explain the circumstances that led to the amputation of the fingers while undergoing treatment for pneumonia.
Further, the legislator wanted the committee to state the steps, if any, by the Ministry of Health to ensure that justice is served to the victim and the actions that will be taken against the medical practitioners involved.
This is besides providing details on the level of adherence to medical safety and precautionary measures in the administration of medical care at the facility in question.
Furthermore, Murango wanted the committee to state reasons, if any, why the management of the hospital has not provided the family with the baby’s medical report.