Nigeria’s Health Minister, Isaac Adewole, has responded to allegations that a 55-year old man died due to negligence at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, LUTH.
A viral tweet had accused LUTH of negligence in the man’s death, alleging that the man died due to asphyxiation as the key to the oxygen room couldn’t be found.
My madams friends uncle just died at LUTH.
He needed oxygen & dy couldn’t find the person with the keys to where oxygen is controlled
— Shunster (@kpeetee) January 30, 2017
The Minister of Health has responded to the allegation, below is his response.
“Following the complaint received on Twitter via mentions of the Honorable Minister of Health’s handle (@IsaacFAdewole) about a patient who allegedly died at LUTH on the 29th day of January 2016, due to negligence on the part of the Nurses handling his case, the Hon. Minister requested for a report from the Hospital.
“The LUTH Management responded with a preliminary report as follows:
“The Patient was a 55 year old man diagnosed with a terminal lung ailment at a peripheral hospital in 2015. His medical records revealed a poor history of compliant with management protocols.
“The poor prognosis of the patient was discussed with his relations who insisted they only wanted him stabilised in LUTH so he could be transferred abroad for proper treatment as they did not intend to treat him in Nigeria. He was commenced on palliative care for the advanced condition. His blood pressure became controlled. However he remained oxygen dependent and could not even be transported around to undergo further tests such as CT scan.
“He was reviewed by specialist doctors from Cardiothoracic Surgery Unit, Pulmonary Medicine Unit, Cardiology, ICU, Radiology, Oncology and Anaesthesiology during the three days of his admission in LUTH. All confirmed there was not much that could be done for him in view of the terminal nature of his ailment. He eventually succumbed to the illness on 29th January 2017.
“There is no truth in the allegation that the key to the oxygen room had been taken home by someone. The relations were obviously upset at the death of this gentleman who had not sought treatment for a grave condition for almost 1 1/2 years, who came to the hospital in extremis and whose poor outcome was discussed with them by our Specialists. The relatives even beat up a security personnel who only tried to pacify them.
“We have since requested that the case be referred to the Coroner for proper investigation while the case of assault is to be handled by the police. The Hospital has also set up a panel to look into the allegations made against the LUTH and these findings shall be made public as soon as they are received by Management.“
“In view of this, Health Minister has requested for a detailed report, which he promised to make public as soon as his office obtains it. The Hon. Minister commiserates with the family of the deceased and appeals to Nigerians to report to the nearest medical facility anytime they feel unwell and urged the people to abide by medical treatment plans. He noted that all medical conditions are either treatable or manageable if care is sought and accessed early.”