Medical mistakes a matter of life, death

Wednesday, October 9th, 2019 00:00 |
Lilian Atieno.

The claims of a woman that she was transfused with blood contaminated with HIV at a public hospital is not only disturbing but distressing.

Though the veracity of the claim has not been established, it is not the first such claim.

True or not, the claim puts to question the level of alertness and attention to detail with which medical personnel undertake certain procedures.

And the bottom line is the critical question of just how safe the common man is while seeking services at such facilities.

And if it’s true the woman in question went to the facility to demand answers over the botched transfusion and a doctor told her the “incident was an accident” which should not amount to a big deal there is a real cause for worry.

How can an incident that could possibly result in death be dismissed as a mere accident? And how can a medical doctor occupying a senior position tell the people who pay his salary that they should not make a big deal about such a matter?

It’s callous and reckless for a professional trained to protect life to proclaim a botched transfusion is just an incident. Somebody must take responsibility for not ensuring the blood was safe for transfusion.

Painful incidents

A blood transfusion gone wrong is a matter of life and death and cannot be taken lightly, by anyone, let alone a medical professional.

The case joins a long list of medical diagnosis, which has consigned thousands of people to miserable lives as dependents after they lost limbs or were disabled over what could have been avoided.

Not even legal suits against the individuals or institutions involved can restore normalcy and the good health is taken away from victims of medical misdiagnosis.

The case of the hapless woman who now has to live on anti-retroviral drugs for the rest of her life is grave and must be probed to a logical and satisfactory conclusion.

Those who handle such sensitive stuff as blood donated for transfusion must exercise extra care to avoid any unfortunate and needlessly painful incidents.

Relevant government agencies must be seized of the matter and assure Kenyans there is little or zero possibility that such recklessness will ever condemn an innocent Kenyan to untold misery.

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