Coroner indicts Lagos hospital for patient’s death

A Lagos State Coroner on Thursday indicted doctors of the Premier Hospital for medical negligence, which led to the death of a patient, Peju Ugboma.

The Magistrate, Mukaila Fadeyi, made the statement while delivering judgment at the Magistrate’s Court in the Ogba area of the state.

He said it was a failure on the part of the doctor not to find out that the deceased had a pre-existing condition before the surgery was conducted.

Ugboma, 41, who was the founder of a pastry company, ‘I Luv Desserts’, died in April 2021, a few days after undergoing fibroid surgery at the hospital.

Almost two years after the death of the Lagos-based pastry chef, the coroner who conducted her inquest indicted doctors at the hospital where she did her surgery for medical negligence.

In June, the Lagos State Government, through the Health Facility Monitoring and Accreditation Agency, shut down the intensive care unit of the hospital pending the outcome of its investigation.

16 witnesses including the deceased husband, doctors, a pathologist and others were called during the coroner’s inquest which began in May 2021.

The deceased husband, Ijoma, alleged that his wife died due to negligence by doctors who attended to her at the Premier Hospital.

The coroner held that the “only logical” insight to “her death is a result of the combination of lack of due diligence of the doctors.”

Fadeyi said that the failure of appropriate response, substandard care, and inadequate optimal care contributed to her untimely demise.

He added that other factors that led to her “avoidable death” include the absence of vital medical devices to detect intra-abdominal bleeding, poor documentation of clinical notes and failure of the immediate involvement of appropriate surgeons.

The coroner said the hospital owe their patient better medical care.

In his opinion, he said part-time doctors should not be engaged.

Fadeyi recommended that the code of conduct and ethics of medical practitioners “should be tightly reviewed to severely punish negligent doctors.”

He said the state government should not limit funding to only government hospitals but should render funds to private facilities to buy equipment.

The coroner further said that regulatory agencies should do more sensitisation on the rights of patients.

In his reaction to the judgment, the victim’s husband, while speaking to journalists, expressed satisfaction with the verdict.

He said his lawyers would advise him on the appropriate step to take next.

“I’m very happy with the outcome of the inquest; it’s been a very long one. The circumstances of my wife’s death were not satisfactory. My children told me to send them a message in school as soon as the ruling is out,” he said.

The lawyer for the deceased’s family, Babatunde Ogungbamila, said she got justice but the medical services failed her.

He further said going forward, they would apply for the verdict, seek compensation and ensure that the doctors were accountable.


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