A broken needle that a doctor left inside a patient during childbirth five months ago was finally removed after she underwent her fourth operation in a span of two weeks at the Murang’a Level Five Hospital.
Ms Evaline Wairimu, 23, was left with a needle in her birth canal after a normal delivery of her first child at Kirwara Sub-County Hospital in Gatanga Constituency in May.
“As the doctor was stitching me up after a tear, the needle broke inside me, bringing me nothing but pain to my life for several months,” Ms Wairimu had told Nation during a past interview.
At first, she thought the pain might have been caused by the birth wound. When the pain persisted, she went to Thika Level Five Hospital and had an X-ray and CT scan, and that's when she discovered that she had a broken needle inside her.
She went to the same hospital where she delivered but they were unable to remove it. She was later transferred to Maragwa Hospital and later to Murang'a Level Five Hospital following the intervention of Murang'a Governor Irungu Kang’ata after the Nation Media Group's NTV and Daily Nation ran the story.
The county government has also suspended the doctor who was involved in the procedure pending formal disciplinary proceedings, which will begin once the patient has recovered and is able to record a statement.
A team of doctors led by Dr Grace Wanjiku and Dr Edwin Mogere performed the operation to remove it during an hour-long procedure on Monday. Governor Kang’ata commended the doctors and promised to sponsor them for a study tour to India.
“Congratulations to the staff at Muranga County Level Five Hospital who successfully removed the foreign body that was lodged in Ms Wairimu’s body. The county will sponsor the two senior doctors for a study tour to India,’ he said.
Ms Wairimu, who was discharged from hospital on Tuesday to recuperate at home, said she was grateful that the needle had finally been removed, but said she was still in pain. She expressed her gratitude to the medics who removed the needle.
“My hope was that the broken needle would be removed to end my pain and misery, I thank God that my prayer was answered," she added. She revealed that the operation was done free of charge. When she was in Maragwa, her son Liam was transported daily from Kihumbu-ini to Maragua, more than 20 kilometres away, so that she could breastfeed him.
When she was taken to the Murang'a Level Five Hospital, she was given a ward to stay in with her son so that she could breastfeed him regularly.
In an earlier interview, she described how her delivery at Kirwara Level Five Hospital went awry. She said that, on that fateful day in May, doctors told her that a surgical needle had broken while they were stitching her up. Attempts to find the broken piece of needle were unsuccessful.
Ms Wairimu said that, since the incident, lying down or walking had become a daily nightmare.
Asked whether she would take legal action against the hospital and the doctor, Ms Wairimu said she was still considering the matter but added that she needed to be compensated for what she had been through. She urged doctors to be careful when dealing with patients.