One of the four women who recently lost their newborn babies at the Central Hospital, Sapele in Delta State, Mrs Chisom Ndubueze has begun the process of ensuring that the doctor on duty and the management of the hospital are brought to book.
To this end, Chisom and her husband, Mr Elijah Ndubueze, have through a law firm in Benin City, Edo State, V.N. Eluma & Co Barristers, Solicitors & Advocates (Legal Practitioners & Property Consultants), written to the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria over the alleged medical negligence that led to the neonatal death of four newborn babies on the 1st and 2nd September 2022, by the management of Central Hospital in Sapele.
In a letter on Saturday, the law firm after narrating what transpired that night alleged that from 2pm on the 1st of September to 8am on the 2nd of September there was no doctor to attend to Chisom, wife of Mr Elijah Ndubueze, who was among the women that lost their babies in the hospital.
The letter which has been sent to the state Commissioner for Health and the chairman of the Delta State Hospital Management Board, Asaba, read in part below:
“Currently traumatised by the death of their baby have commissioned our law firm to bring to you their complaint in order to bring the management of Central HoSpital Sapele and the doctor on call from the 1st September to 2nd September 2022 to book to answer to their and/or his medical negligence/utter recklessness and abandonment of their duty that led to the death of our client’s baby and the trauma suffered by our client and his wife.
“We therefore on behalf of our client call upon you sir to bring the management of Central Hospital Sapele and the doctor on call from the 1st September to 2nd September 2022, to book to answer to their and/or his medical negligence/utter recklessness and abandonment of their duty that led to the death of our client’s baby and the trauma suffered by our client and his wife. Please accept the assurances of our very high regards whilst thanking you for your prompt action and approval thereafter.”
The Delta State government has however said it had established that the Doctor on duty that night was in the call room and several calls were made to him but why he did not pick up or wake up that night is yet unknown.
The state Commissioner for Health, Dr Mordi Ononye, while confirming the incident said, “Part of what I read was that the doctor on duty was drunk, and I was able to establish that the doctor on duty that night was actually in the call room and they put across calls and why he didn’t wake I did not know”, adding that everybody’s role is being examined from the cleaners, the nurses and the doctors on duty and if found guilty, the officer involved will be made to face the full wrath of the law.
Narrating her ordeal that night, Mrs Chisom Ndubueze said her baby was stalled in her birth canal for four hours in the hospital unattended to.
The 28-year-old lady insisted that her baby would still be alive and kicking if not for the hospital’s nonchalant attitude.
She said she went to the hospital at about after 12 in the afternoon of 1st September and she was admitted and the nurses on duty told her they would not attend to her till 11pm
According to her, “When the doctor came in around 11pm, he ask me to buy some things which I did and they took me from the maternity ward to the labour ward and he (the doctor) inserted something inside me and left.
“The nurses brought drip and fixed it on me, I was restless because I was going through pain then.”
Mrs Ndubueze stated further that the nurses left her and after that time, she said she could feel the baby coming out.
“But it was stalled in the birth canal, for four hours I battled with it, it was around 4am that I now beckon on the nurses to check me again, when the nurses came, they told me the baby was progressing, I had to beg them around 5am again, before they came, and took me to the last labour room.
“The baby’s head was now out but it was still stalled, I was now begging them to help me bring out the baby, I could touch the baby’s head, but the nurses were still telling me that it was not yet time for the baby to come out that I should still push, I now start to push, when I could no longer push, I started begging them to help me bring out the baby.
“I was still struggling with the baby stalled in my birth canal when one of the nurses said her time was up. I was begging her not to leave and that she should help me find the doctor, that was when they started looking for doctors but he was nowhere.”
She said when the doctor came in around 7am to check on her, the baby was still alive then and he left her again.
She said she was in tears and even pleaded with the doctor that came that morning not to leave her like that but they still insisted there was no light to use to help her in delivering the baby.
“It was later that one of the doctors came and was now trying to help me. He was trying to see if he could put on the light and when the light came on, the said vacuum extraction, they were trying to use was not even working, they now left the machine and started making efforts before then I realised the baby was no more moving and the baby was dead,” she said breaking into tears again.