Saturday, November 10, 2007

Patient Approach

Someone Needs Their Head Examined

A Tanzanian hospital has mixed up two patients who share the same first name, resulting in a surgery blunder. Emmanuel Didas, who was admitted for a knee operation, is now unconscious in intensive care after head surgery. Meanwhile, chronic migraine sufferer Emmanuel Mgaya is recovering from an unplanned knee operation. Some angry relatives are demanding a full investigation into the incident at Muhimbili Hospital in Dar es Salaam.

FOOTNOTE: Cancel the knees-up.


Hin Man said...

I work all week crazy hours until late Friday to find the time to visit your blog. I thought I was the only who need my head to be examined. I have good companion with the hospital staff. Tragic mistakes

Kimberly said...

Now that is black humour at it's best/worst. Wow.

Pope Terry said...

Well who can argue with a free operation... well you'd hope they'd be free.

Hammer said...

At least one of them wasn't a sex change operation..

eric1313 said...

I know they're over-worked, but that's ridiculous.

david mcmahon said...

Hi Hin Man,

I really enjoyed your anniversary pictures. I know you've had a busy week, so just make sure you relax this weekend.

And don't book in for an operation in Tanzania!

Keep smiling


david mcmahon said...

Hi Kimberly,

I'm so relieved they didn't operate on my brain. They wouldn't have found anything there!

Keep smiling


david mcmahon said...

G'day Your Eminence,

Imagine having the wrong operation and then being billed for it.

Double the pain.

Keep smiling


david mcmahon said...

Ouch, Hammer, that was was prospect I hadn't thought of!

Keep smiling


david mcmahon said...

Hi Eric,

And one of the patients doesn't have a leg to stand on!

Flippant remarks aside, I guess it shows how overstretched resources can sometimes be the cause of terrible errors.

Keep smiling


Akelamalu said...

You couldn't make it up could you?!! That is why I stayed away for my knee replacement surgery!

Shrink Wrapped Scream said...

Hang on, didn't either patient suspect something when:-

a) Patient no.1 had his head shaved for his knee op, and

b) Patient no.2 had lots of black marker scrawled across his knee for his brain surgery?

Sandy Kessler said...


YTSL said...

I lived in Tanzania for 2 years back in the 1990s. Muhimbili (the main government hospital in Dar es Salaam) always had horror stories coming out of it.

E.g., a friend of a friend got drunk one night and punched his hand through a plate of glass. (He probably was pretty depressed.) His friends took him to Muhimbili for some emergency treatment. After waiting several hours to be seen by a doctor, he bled to death inside the hospital. And yes, alas, this is a true story...

Jeni said...

Although I haven't read lots and lots of stories about things like that happening in the states, I have read about some mistakes along lines like that. Perhaps it happens more than we know though because last fall when I last had abdominal surgery at a very large hospital in Pittsburgh, they had ME use the marker to indicate what side of my abdomen the problem area was located. Hmmm - it does give one cause to wonder, doesn't it -if maybe another physician other than the one who has been seeing you is the one doing the cutting, removal etc.

Eve said...

A friend of mine had knee surgery on the wrong knee-twice.