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Tuesday, 26 September 2017

Medical Workers Indicted Following The Death Of A 2-Year-Old Boy Who Was 'Mistakenly' Placed On Empty Oxygen Tank (Photo)

Some medical personnel at the Ikorodu General Hospital, Lagos State, have been found complicit in the death of a sick two-year-old boy, Christopher Mike-Ozugha, according to a report by Punch.  This was made public after a panel set up to investigate an allegation bordering on professional negligence raised by Christopher’s parents indicted the workers in its report.
 
According to the report, Christopher had difficulty in breathing and was referred from a private hospital, Olive Clime, to the general hospital. He was admitted to the government facility around 1am on August 20. The kid was said to have been placed for about 30 minutes on an oxygen tank that had run out of oxygen before a nurse, who came to examine him, discovered the error.
 
Although the deceased was transferred to the central oxygen in the hospital ward, the parents said the oversight was discovered too late.
 
The mother, Esther Mike-Ozugha, had also alleged that a nurse, who was later identified as a caregiver, shunned her each time she drew her attention to Christopher’s deteriorating health. 
But an official at the general hospital had said the child had severe bronchopneumonia and malaria, which killed him, adding that he was brought in a bad condition.
 
The Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Jide Idris, had earlier rejected a report submitted by the hospital management and directed the Health Service Commission to conduct “a full investigation” into the matter.
 
 A source privy to the investigation of the panel, told a Punch correspondent that the parents and medical personnel on duty during Christopher’s admission were invited to a meeting. He said one of the nurses stated before the panel that she discovered that there was no oxygen in the tank.
 
The source said, “It was a rigorous session which lasted for about three hours. The medical workers on duty at the time of the incident were interviewed one after another. The parents identified the negligent caregiver. She denied the allegation, but a preliminary report from the hospital confirmed that she did not respond when the mother of the boy called her attention to the central oxygen that was not working well.

“The nurse admitted to have said that the oxygen tank was empty. But the panel discovered that the tank had not completely run out of oxygen before the boy was transferred to the central oxygen.”
 
Another source said Esther also told the panel that one of the nurses asked her to buy a pair of gloves before treatment could commence on the boy.
 
The woman explained that the hospital’s pharmacy had closed by the time she got there to buy the gloves, but a pharmacist in charge of the store gave her some pieces.  She added that the nurse rejected them because they were not sealed.

“The panel also scolded a matron and promised to recommend punishment for those found to have shown poor attitude to work. The panel members pleaded with the parents and sought forgiveness on behalf of the indicted medical personnel. The parents and others present were enjoined not to speak with the press. The committee had submitted its report to the health commissioner,” the source added.
 
When contacted, the couple declined comments on the report, saying they had taken solace in God. The commissioner, Idris, confirmed the receipt of the report and the indictment of some workers. He said he would meet with the panel on the recommendations they made.
 
He said, “I have seen the report and I am reviewing it. I want to get one or two other independent consultants to look at it. I know that they (the panel) indicted a couple of people and they have to go through the civil service regulations to deal with the matter.

“They have recommended that some workers should be disciplined. I want to discuss with the board (panel) this week on those indicted for one or two things. We will discipline them, but we need to be thorough in case the people decide to go to court.”

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