Nairobi Hospital defends diagnosis on patient
A man who has sued the Nairobi Hospital for negligence was handled well by qualified doctors and no errors were made as alleged, a court heard yesterday. Dr Ernest Kioko said Herman Tsuma was diagnosed with pneumonia at the time he was admitted at the hospital and after two weeks, they detected traces of TB. He also clarified to the court that he is a kidney specialist and a physician specialising in internal medicine, and was qualified to treat pneumonia.
Tsuma has accused another Dr James Mbuvi of making an error in referring him to Kioko, despite having diagnosed a special type of pneumonia which affects lungs. Kioko, in his diagnosis, told the court that a chest x-ray confirmed Tsuma had pneumonia which after being put on medication began to subside. It was after 10 days that the doctor discovered that the pneumonia patch was not clearing. Test carried out on Tsuma revealed he had TB and the pneumonia was getting worse.
It was at that moment that the doctor called for a chest specialist who would help get out the fluid material on the patient’s chest. But according to Dr Charles Chunge, Tsumas personal doctor, he is the one who examined Tsuma and found that there was so much pus in his chest. After this observation he recommended involvement of a chest specialist and proceeded to call in Dr Samuel Gathua to attend to Tsuma.
On arrival, Dr Gathua examined the patient and put him on TB drugs. To save the situation Dr Gathua tried to suck out the pus three times but was not successful. Kioko however claims that Chunge had no role he was only called in on the patients request and his was only to give him moral support. Kioko also states that he was able to suck out a small percent of the fluid for examination but he later pulled out of the case since doctor Gathua was the one who could handle Tsumas condition at that moment.
The patient according to Dr ernest received both Pneumonia and TB treatment. He also underwent a chest operation which was inevitable due to the nature of his pneumonia condition He also added t5hat patient’s smoking and being an alcoholic could have agravted his condition. Tsuma who has sued the hospital for negligence states they failed to detect that he was suffering from tuberculosis. He has accused Ernest and Doctor James Mbuvi, of treating him for pneumonia for two weeks without detecting that he was infected with TB. However, he was later treated for TB.
As a result of the operation Tsuma is left with what doctors call "chest disability" which makes him susceptible to infections. Dr Chunge said his client will have to live with pain for the rest of his life. Tsuma is now seeking compensation from the two doctors and the hospital. The hospital and the doctors denied negligence. The matter will be mentioned on July 31.