By Fred Mulwa
Surgeons at Kenyatta National Hospital have successfully reattached a 17-year-old boy’s hand severed by a chaff-cutter.
The seven-hour microvascular surgery on January 2 was the first sucessful hand reattachment in Sub-Saharan Africa, the hospital said.
Blood flow was restored in three hours for Joseph Mbugua of Kihara, Kiambu county.
“Nasikia poa sana. Wamenishugulikia sana. (I feel so good. They, they have taken care of me well),” Mbugua told the Star from his hospital ward.
“We are pleased to inform the country Mbugua is recuperating well and has regained mobility of his fingers. Our doctors are optimistic he will make a full recovery,” KNH chief executive officer Lily Koros said.
Mbugua was cleaning the cutter at home in Kihara, Kiambu, at 11am on January 26 when the power accidentally surged on.The blades cut off his right hand at the wrist.
“I did not immediately realise my hand was not there when I saw my wrist bleeding. The hand had fallen on the ground. I collected it andshouted for help,” Mbugua told the media yesterday from his hospital bed.
The hand was wrapped in a polythene bag and he was rushed to Kiambu County Hospital. Medics sterilised and disinfected the hand and stored it in a cool box. They stopped the bleeding and gave medication to prevent infection.
Mbugua was rushed to Kenyatta National Hospital. CEO Koros yesterday said Mbugua was admitted at 1pm, in severe pain.
The hospital immediately began assembling a microvascular team, including Kenya’s top plastic surgeons and theatre nurses.
Surgery to reattach the hand began at 10pm on January 26. It ended at 6am on January 27.