Pathologists probing the cause of death of a seven-year old infant at the Machakos Shalom Hospital early this month have released a report on the condition of the infant’s brain.
The team of the three medics led by Dr. Daniel Zuriel, Dr. Waithera Githendu and Prof. Kiama Wangai found that baby Ethan Muendo’s brain had suffered massive swelling usually referred as ‘raised intracranial pressure’ in medical parlance.
According to Dr. Zuriel who was leading the trio, there was visible pressure in the brain which is believed to have led to a strained breathing and eventual death of the child.
The report further found the presence of a small haemorrhage in the brain that had been caused by a 1.5 cm thick raptured capillary.
Furthermore there was evidence of congestion in the lower vessels of the brain that contributed greatly to the raised pressure in the brain.
The medic said they had taken microscopic samples of the brain to the government chemists for further toxological tests.
“We do not have any obvious cause of this swelling .We are going to wait for the government chemist and release our examinations and issue the report to the relevant authorities and family so that all facts can be put together ,”he told journalists outside the Montezuma Funeral home yesterday.
Dr. Zurie said from the forgone analysis, it is obvious the baby did not die from any physical injury on the head as there was no evidence of injury.
The report also ruled out stroke, infection or a brain tumour as the cause of death and said the tragic incident could have emanated from a chemical substance in the body organs.
“There is no obvious cause of this swelling until we see whether there was a chemical in the body.The purpose of autopsy is to see what we have and what we do not have,”he added.
An earlier postmortem analysis a fortnight ago by the same team of doctors on the baby had revealed that he died due to respiratory depression.
The autopsy report released on May 8 in Machakos had similarly found that the baby’s brain was swollen.
“Based on the primary autopsy that we have carried out on baby Ethan’s body, we were all in agreement that he had a swollen brain which can suppress breathing, and or intoxication due to alleged drug overdose,” Zuriel had told the press .
Dr. Zuriel similarly said samples of body fluids and tissues had been extracted from the body for further toxicological
tests at the Government chemist to ascertain the concentration of the alleged overdose of medicine used on the baby prior to his death.
The pathologists further disclosed that there was evidence of reduced circulation of oxygen on the infant’s respiratory organs as well as evidence of two and a half centimeter burn on his left arm.
The doctors said a conclusive report will be released after the analysis of the toxicological tests.
Three people have already been arrested and charged in connection to the incident.
The three, Vincent Njau Nganga, Irene Katete Mutinda and Odhiambo Kennedy were arrested on May 6 after Machakos Governor, Dr. Alfred Mutua and a team of medics investigating the May 5 incident ordered the hospital closed after a family lost their son in the hands of the staff on allegations that he had been given an overdose of morphine injection.
According to the Investigating Officer’s report, it was Nganga who prescribed for the morphine treatment and procedures to be administered while Mutinda identified only as a ‘nurse’ went ahead and administered the jab which is believed to have been 20 times more than the recommended dose.
It is this jab that is suspected to have killed the infant.
The three are currently out on a Sh. 500,000 bond each and are expected back in court on May 23 2019.
By Samuel Maina/Rachael Kilonzo