Saturday, 10 October 2015

Woman Sues St. Nicholas Hospital Over Alleged Negligence

IRKED by what they alleged as negligence on the part of medical doctors at the St. Nicholas Hospital, Lagos, the family of the late prominent radio broadcaster, Mr Charles Bruce Chukuma, also known as “CHAZ B”, has urged the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN), to investigate doctors in the employ of the hospital over the broadcaster’s death.

The late Chukuma had allegedly died in November last year at St. Nicholas Hospital while receiving treatment.

In a petition signed by the late ace broadcaster’s wife, Mrs. Chinyere Roselin Chukuma, before the MDCN, she accused the hospital of negligence, and urged “the Investigation Panel to investigate the doctors in the employment of St. Nicholas Hospital and find out if there has not been a case of incompetence and gross negligence made out against them.”

The petition was deposed to as an affidavit before the High Court of Lagos State by Mrs Chukuma and filed by Olaolu Osanyin, the medical lawyer representing Chukuma’s family and estate.

The petition, exclusively obtained by The Guardian, is titled: “Affidavit of Gross Negligence of Doctors of Saint Nicholas Hospital in Lagos in the Medical Case of Late Mr. Charles Bruce Chukuma.”

According to the petitioner, her husband was a registered patient with St. Nicholas Hospital for his post kidney transplant care and also for general medical care.

She alleged that the deceased took ill about 6.40 pm on November 21, 2014, and arrived the hospital about 7.00 pm with her same day, but was not given adequate medical care by the hospital until he died at 9.30am the following day (November 22).

Chukuma, who gave details of the family’s encounter with the hospital before her husband eventually died, alleged that the doctor on duty when they arrived could not even access the deceased’s medical file in the hospital as it was said to had been locked up in another doctor’s office, which nobody had access to.

She noted that with her husband’s medical file inaccessible, the doctor on call was at a loss on what to do and called one Dr. Balogun on phone who “instructed that a particular injection be administered on my husband to ease the pains and said that they should observe him till the next morning.”

She alleged that the doctor later “told me that my husband would be fine; he asked me to take my husband home and bring him the following morning.”

“About 15 minutes after we got home, my husband said he felt like throwing up. I brought a bowl for him and he vomited and felt a bit better. He slept for sometime and later got up in an excruciating pain. Immediately, I jumped into my clothes and then called Dr. Balogun to say that we are on our way back to the hospital. He said no problem that the doctor will be waiting for me… a senior surgeon,” she alleged.

According to her, the doctor never came, as the doctor on call, whom they had been dealing with from the onset, continued to take instructions from him on phone until her husband’s death.

Alleging that her husband passed away because there was no competent hand to attend to him, she accused the hospital of failing “to refer my husband to another hospital in good time, in order for him to get the best treatment he deserved.”

But when contacted, St. Nicholas Clinical Director, Dr Ebun Bamgboye, told The Guardian that the hospital did not do anything wrong during the treatment of the late broadcaster.

Bamgboye said: “Like she (Chukuma’s wife) mentioned, she has taken the case to MDCN. Ideally, it will be pre-judicial of us to go ahead and discuss the case. Of course, we did not do anything wrong. But it will be wrong for me to start discussing the details of the case. And I think pending when it is reported that the case has been investigated, it will be unfair for anybody to pass any judgment. MDCN has asked for our comment, and we have responded. When they call us during trial, we will state our part of what transpired.”

The late CHAZ B was an On Air Personality and Relationship Coach who became very popular with his radio talk show “Sharing Life Issues With CHAZ B”, which originally aired on Inspiration FM, and later on RYTHYM 93.7 FM, from Monday to Friday from 5.30pm and 7pm. The talk show earned him the prestigious Nigeria Media Merit Awards in 2010 as the Best On Air Personality in Radio.

I smell trouble with the involvement of MDCN. Malpractice suits are every doctor's nightmare and I bet the doctors are having sleepless nights over this one. Hopefully, no negligence was involved.

Culled from - The Guardian

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