A senate committee has cleared Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) of negligence in the death of celebrated author Ken Walibora.
In a report tabled in the senate, the health committee concluded that “The alleged negligence could not be proved.”
In it’s report, the committee noted that Walibora received the necessary medical intervention upon his admission on April 10, 2020.
“He accessed intensive care services at the critical care unit of the Accidents and Emergency department in KNH,” the report read in part.
The legislators also noted that the former Nation Media journalist who was admitted at the referral hospital as an “unknown African male” remained unidentified for three days after his death due to lack of identification documents.
“As with accident victims with private insurance, but who lack identification documents, had his identity been known, he may have received a timely transfer to alternative private health facilities,” the report read.
It added, “While the alleged negligence of the late Prof Ken Walibora at KNH could not be proved, many victims of road traffic accidents and violence die from lack of receiving timely life-saving medical interventions and appropriate emergency health care.”
In his submissions to the committee, KNH CEO Dr Evans Kamuri said Walibora was brought in by an ambulance on April 10, 2020 at around 9.53 am.
At the time, Dr Kamuri said, the hospital’s ICU facilities were not overstretched, as earlier claimed.
As an immediate intervention, he was started on analgesics and intravenous fluids and medication. A cervical neck collar was also fixed.
At the time the “Siku Njema” author was breathing on his own.
“Subsequently, he was referred to resuscitation Room B where he was put on oxygen via a non-rebreather mask. Resuscitation Room B is a six-bed critical care unit in the A&E department that has full ICU-functionality,” he told the senators.
On admission to the resuscitation room, the departed was breathing spontaneously.
A medical officer is also said to have witnessed several convulsions pointing to a severe head injury.
The medic ordered for further laboratory tests but the patient could not be moved to the radiology department for ICT scan and X-ray.
Had he been moved, he could have desaturated (lost oxygen) and decompensated (lost functionality).
Senators also heard that Walibora’s condition worsened at around 8 pm the same day before he went into a cardiac arrest at 12.10 am.
He was pronounced dead at 1.10am.
An autopsy exam concluded that he died of severe head injury.
Reports indicated that Walibora waited for medical attention for at least 14 hours leading to his death.