- by E. Nriezedi
- 10:43 AM January 23, 2022
The family of a gunshot victim, Gabriel Asoh, who died at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, has said workers at the state hospital waited for 12 hours before attending to him.
It accused the hospital of negligence and demanded a public apology.
The family stated these in reaction to claims by the Lagos State chapter of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, and the LASUTH management that medical workers were assaulted by a member of the family.
It had reported that a relative of Asoh, who was later identified as his neighbour, Reginald Uwandu, was arrested by the police for allegedly assaulting medical personnel at the hospital.
Our correspondent reported that Asoh was taken in a Toyota Sienna to the surgical emergency unit of the hospital around 11pm on Tuesday, December 14.
The secretary of the nursing association, Toba Odumosu, said a nurse at the hospital advised his relative to leave him in the vehicle, where a resuscitation procedure would be conducted on him before moving him to the ward.
However, Uwandu, who became impatient, allegedly attacked three nurses and a doctor at the hospital.
Asoh’s family, in a statement signed by one Chibuzor Duru on behalf of the family, said nobody was attacked at the hospital.
He noted that Asoh died while in surgery, adding that the hospital requested N50,400 to conduct a COVID-19 test on the corpse.
The statement read in part, “The management of LASUTH and the police have clearly lied in a bid to mislead the public by giving a dog a bad name to hang it. The victim/patient, late Gabriel Asoh, was shot in the stomach by armed robbers in the Agbado (AIT), area of Lagos around 10pm on December 14.
“He had been rejected by a private hospital and the General Hospital, Ilepo. It was then decided to take him to LASUTH that night. We took him to the surgical emergency ward and the nurses refused to allow our neighbour, Reginald Uwandu, who accompanied us to bring down him down from the bus.
“The wife of the victim and Mr Kingsley Asoh had been busy with the payment of all the necessary bills and seeking the doctors and nurses’ attention for the victim, while our kind neighbour, Mr Uwandu, in tears, begged and pleaded so they could attend to the victim.
“Policemen suddenly appeared from nowhere (clearly on the invitation of the LASUTH management) to drag Mr Uwandu away, while the victim/patient was left on the floor. At no time did the victim/patient fall in his hands as stated.
“Mr Gabriel Tunde Asoh was eventually taken to theatre for surgery 12 hours later. He died due to complications from his injuries.
“The morgue staff of LASUTH immediately took his body to the mortuary and then requested a COVID-19 test before an autopsy would be performed at a cost of N50,400.
“The questions we want to ask LASUTH is this: what is the use of a COVID-19 test on a man who was tragically shot by armed robbers and was vaccinated before his demise? Why did it take LASUTH almost 12 hours to perform surgery on a gunshot victim clearly deemed as an emergency? Can LASUTH tell Nigerians if 12 hours waiting time is the standard operating waiting time by hospitals before a gunshot victim will be attended to? Why is a supposed teaching hospital adamant on sending an innocent person to jail on flimsy excuses of assault when it was all a lie?”
Our correspondent learnt that Uwandu was charged with assault and granted bail by the magistrate court, while the case was adjourned till January 19, 2022.
The Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Adetokunbo Fabamwo, said a panel had been set up to investigate the complaint of delay in treatment.
He, however, declined to comment on the assault, saying the matter was in court.
“I can confirm that an autopsy to be carried out must have a COVID test done; it is the hospital’s protocol,” he added.