Kirinyaga doctors back amputation of baby's fingers during pneumonia treatment

Kerugoya Hospital

Kerugoya County Referral Hospital in Kirinyaga County. The Kirinyaga County Health Department is investigating an incident where a baby’s three fingers were amputated at the hospital during pneumonia treatment.

Photo credit: File I Nation Media Group

The Kirinyaga County Health Department is investigating an incident where a baby’s three fingers were amputated at the Kerugoya Referral Hospital during pneumonia treatment. 

The removal of baby Yassin Noor’s fingers raised questions about the medical procedures and standards that were followed during the treatment of the child at the health facility.

The health department wants to establish whether there was any negligence “with the aim of instituting an appropriate action.”

The one-year and four-month-old child underwent surgery after developing complications during treatment at the hospital.

According to the County Medical Services and Public Health Executive, Dr George Karoki, although the disarticulation of the three fingers was done with the consent of the parents, the investigation was necessary to establish the truth of the matter.

The child was admitted to the hospital on March 3 with fever, cough and fast breathing, which the mother said persisted for three weeks and had been treated in different health facilities without improvement.

On medical examination, the baby was diagnosed with severe pneumonia and booked in ward 11 where treatment started immediately.

Doctors at the hospital initiated a first-line treatment which did not respond as expected.

Second treatment

He was put on second treatment alongside occupational therapy.

However, on the 10th day, a medical officer noticed a swelling and bluish discolouration (gangrene) on the tips of the thumb, index and middle fingers on the right hand.

It was then that an X-ray revealed a compartment syndrome.

Dr Karoki said a procedure to release pressure and increase blood circulation to the fingers was successfully conducted with the consent of the parents.

However, the desired results were not achieved and consequently, the surgical team recommended that the fingers be removed to prevent further spread of the infection.

Baby Noor is still admitted at the hospital and responding well to treatment, according to Dr Karoki.

"We want to assure all the residents of our commitment towards the provision of quality medical services," said Dr Karoki.