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January 22, 2019

Bungoma mum wants pay for 'needle' negligence

Bungoma referral hospital where a woman has threatened to sue after a needle was left in her genitalia. /BRIAN OJAMAA
Bungoma referral hospital where a woman has threatened to sue after a needle was left in her genitalia. /BRIAN OJAMAA

A teenage mother who had a needle left in her genitals after delivery has given Bungoma county government 14 days to compensate her or she would seek redress in court.

Through her lawyer Kennedy Murunga in a letter dated August 15, Macklin Amunga says negligence by Bulondo dispensary and the Bungoma referral hospital staff in performing surgery caused her great pain and caused urinary disorder.

"The negligent actions of your staff in conducting surgery subjected our client to excruciating pain that would have been avoided had the same been done diligently and procedurally," the letter reads in part.

Amunga says she has since suffered repeated urinary incontinence and needs corrective surgery.

She stayed for two weeks in the referral hospital after giving birth because a needle was left in the birth canal.

Aged 18, Amunga gave birth at Bulondo dispensary on May 10.

During the process, a minor procedure — episiotomy — was carried out because the baby could not pass through her birth canal.

She delivered well, but during the stitching a needle was left inside her. She was transferred to the Bungoma referral hospital.

An X-ray showed a needle was stuck in her genitals.

Medics at the institution, however, delayed for two weeks to remove the needle because precise removal requires specialised equipment, which was out of order.

"Ever since the incident, I can’t control my urine and the pain is always on and off. I have sought medical attention but I have been told I need corrective surgery," Amunga

told the Star yesterday.

At the time, Bungoma medical superintendent Magrima Mayama confirmed the needle had been left in the woman’s body, but said medics were working on how to remove it.

"It’s true the medics at our facility in Bulondo accidentally left a needle in her body. When we took her to theatre to remove it, we found our machines were out of order," she said.

Mayama said the hospital contacted the supplier of the machine to send a team of experts to repair it before conducting the operation.

She said they tried to convince the family of the patient to take her to Eldoret hospital, but they declined. Amunga said her family could not afford to take her to Eldoret hospital.

Bungoma governor’s wife Caroline Wangamati condemned the staff who left the needle inside. She said it inhumane for Amunga to live in pain for 13 days after giving birth.

"Hospitals are supposed to have proper services, more so for mothers. Such cases may scare away pregnant women," she said.

She urged doctors and other health workers to be cautious when handling patients.

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