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Friday, July 21, 2017

Wrong Diagnosis: Medical Council Asks Family to Write Petition Over Death of Victim

The Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria has asked the family of late Kolawole Idowu to come forward with a formal complaint to the organisation for investigation into the death of the victim.
The Registrar of the regulatory body, Dr T.A.B. Sanusi, said the agency was ready to take up the case, adding that any of the doctors found wanting in the death will be appropriately sanctioned.
PUNCH Metro had reported that Kolawole had just completed his National Youth Service Corps programme when he took ill.
The 29-year-old was said to have gone to the Ikeja Medical Centre, a private hospital in his area, where he was treated for malaria and after reacting to the drug, he was admitted for mental illness.
His mother and brothers had alleged that he was given injections which aggravated his health condition, just as they claimed that he was not properly diagnosed.
After spending two weeks at the hospital, he was reportedly transferred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.
He was admitted to LASUTH psychiatric ward, where he went into a coma.
Our correspondent reported that he was later transferred to the Intensive Care Unit of the hospital. He died after spending about two months in the ICU.
Doctors at LASUTH had said he was received as a psychiatric patient, but further checks showed his ailment was not purely a psychiatric issue, but an infection called meningoencephalitis.
The Ikeja Medical Centre had frustrated all efforts by our correspondent to get its side of the story, including harassing our correspondent.
The Registrar of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria urged the family to present a formal complaint.
Sanusi said, “We are a body for the regulation of the practice of medicine and dentistry in Nigeria. Essentially, we deal with the registered practitioners, that is, those on our list.
“Secondly, the proper thing is for the family to put their complaints in the form of an affidavit to be addressed to the medical and dental practitioners investigating panel. When it is addressed, the names of the doctors involved should be stated.
“Once this is done, we will verify if the doctors involved are registered. We will then forward the complaints to those involved in the matter for their reactions. The reactions will be forwarded to the complainant, and then we will begin our investigation.”
He said without the process, the medical practitioners would not be punished, adding that the state government was responsible for whatever disciplinary action would be taken against the hospital involved.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Dr Jide Idris, said he had been briefed about the incident, adding that investigations had begun.
He said the government would not allow the case to be swept under the carpet.
The President of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights, Malachy Ugwummadu, urged the family of the deceased to get justice, adding that a coroner inquest would assist in getting to the roots of the case.
He said, “The life of a young man has been cut short because of the inadequacy of our medical system. This leaves a sore taste in the mouth. It exposes the poverty of our situation in this country. We call for a thorough investigation. The family should be encouraged to demand a coroner inquest to ascertain the true cause of the death of their loved one
“The journalist, who occupies the Fourth Estate of the Realm, is perhaps the only person in Section 22 of the 1999 Constitution that is empowered to hold the government accountable to the people and it comes in a way of reportage.
“If in the course of your legitimate duty you suffer harassment and brutalisation, we contend that such is actionable. Whoever has done that has questions to answer. Any organisation or person that has taken the law into their own hand should be cited not just for criminal offences, but also seek redress for the violation of your rights in the line of duty.”
Some Nigerians, who read the report on PUNCH Online, called for a thorough investigation into the matter, saying many people had died in the country due to wrong diagnoses.
One Matthew Keyh faulted the Ikeja Medical Centre, saying the victim’s life could have been saved.
He said, “I think the case is a pure case of meningitis; the symptoms are synonymous with meningitis while the medical centre was treating malaria. Proper blood test, like lumbar puncture and blood culture, should have been done and patient covered with intravenous antibiotics which should have saved his life.
“Sometimes, cerebral malaria can also cause psychosis or mental symptoms when the malaria parasites travel to the brain. The man should have been referred to the teaching hospital earlier, which would have probably saved his life. The private medical centre should be sued for incompetence.”
According to another reader, with the alias, Trouble, most doctors in the country don’t refer their patients to other hospitals because of money.
“Most doctors in Nigeria will not refer their sick patients to other hospitals because they want to make money from their patients.
“Since our leaders go abroad for treatment of headache and ear problems, the people are left at the mercy of mercenary doctors,” he said.
Another poster, Ola Danladi, said it was unfortunate that some Nigerians go to hospitals with minor medical problems, but such issues were aggravated, which lead to their death.
A reader, Goodman, said, “Most doctors in Nigeria are harbingers of death.
“I thank my God when I ran away from one teaching hospital in the east in 2012 after the doctors booked me for an operation based on obvious wrong diagnosis.
“Nigeria is a dangerous place in all ramifications. I have since relocated and left the country for good. Please the parents should sue the doctor.”
By: Samson Folarin
The Punch News

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