Missing intestine: Private medical doctors fault Lagos panel report

The report presented by the ad hoc committee set up by the Lagos State House of Assembly to investigate the matter, to investigate the missing intestine of late 12-year-old Adebola Akin-Bright, has been faulted by private medical doctors in Lagos.

The doctors under the aegis of the Association of Nigerian Private Medical Practitioners, ANPMP, Lagos State chapter, said the absence of a medical doctor in the panel made the job difficult as it was obvious that those members of the panel were ignorant of the medical profession.

They said the call for the arrest of Dr. Abayomi Baiyewu, the owner of Obitoks Hospital in the Alimosho area of Lagos, where Akin-Bright had his initial surgery, might have been borne out of an immediate emotional reaction to the news of the deceased.

The Lagos Assembly, on Friday, revealed its findings on the circumstances leading to the disappearance of late Akin-Bright’s small intestine.

The chairman of the ad hoc committee set up by the House to investigate the matter, Noheem Adams, told his colleagues that the doctor who performed surgery twice on the boy was not a qualified surgeon.

The Speaker of the House, Mudashiru Obasa, during a plenary session on Thursday, had directed the Clerk, Olalekan Onafeko, to write to the Lagos State Police Command for the arrest of Baiyewu.

Meanwhile, the press statement by the ANPMP Lagos Branch Chairman, Dr. Makinde Akinlemibola and General Secretary, Dr. Debo Adebiyi, titled: ‘Re: The Case Of Alleged Missing Intestines; Setting The Records Straight’, insisted that there was no rationale to call for the arrest of the doctor for simply doing his job, especially when the government hospital involved and his personnel were not found culpable.

The statement read in parts, “It is important to note that the honourable members of the panel also demonstrated a clear case of witch-hunt and working to a predetermined answer by attempting to reduce the session to a “Yes” and “No” session for our member from the private hospital while the doctor from the government hospital involved in the management of the deceased was given the latitude to give a detailed report.

“The bias was taken to a ridiculous level when the same doctor who operated on the patient at the government hospital was asked to assess and determine the response of the doctor who operated on the patient in the private hospital. A case of being a judge in your case you would say!

“Of course, the doctor seeing the absurdity of the request cleverly declined.

“A similar panel set up earlier by the Ministry of Health (HEFAMAA) that had a surgeon on the seat had confirmed that the X-ray films taken while the patient was on admission at LASUTH also showed the presence of the intestines.

“Information available to us also confirms that a large mass of black tissue was removed at LASUTH and handed to the patient’s mother to take to the histopathology laboratory by the team that operated on the patient at LASUTH after they came out of the theatre.

“Strangely, the government through their agency, HEFAMAA rushed to seal up the theatre of the private hospital, while the government hospital where the patient was operated on and eventually died was left to continue to operate as if nothing happened.

“We have to emphasise here that matters of this nature deserve thorough investigation by a well-constituted professional team and the only body empowered by law to investigate such cases is the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria, MDCN.”

The doctors said they would ensure to follow the matter closely to stop an “attitude of vilifying” the private medical practice at every opportunity.

They said having followed the matter closely, the association is worried about the misconceptions, half-truths and outright falsehoods being peddled in the media.

According to them, “We as an association wish to first and foremost express our deep sympathy to the family of now deceased Adebola Akin-Bright.

“We have refrained from commenting on this issue in public for obvious reasons, we are however constrained to state some facts just to set the record straight because it is said that, “repetition makes a fact seem truer, regardless of whether it is or not”.

“We have been able to establish some privileged and incontrovertible facts based on available scientific evidence at our disposal some of which we will share here:

“The patient was first operated on at Obitoks Hospital 6th of March 2023 on account of a ruptured appendix after he was referred from a medical centre where he was managed for typhoid enteritis.

“It was discovered on the operation table that there was an abscess which will require a different management approach to drain. (The appendix at that time must not be removed because of the abscess). The patient however got better afterwards.

“The patient presented again about 3 months later and a diagnosis of obstructed intestine was made which necessitated operating on the abdomen again to relieve the obstruction.

“It is a fact that the parents were invited into the operating room to see and confirm the point of obstruction and the 4 inches of the small intestine to be removed, out of the about 24 feet of the normal small intestine.

“It was also established that the patient was referred to the tertiary centre 8 days post-operation at the request of the parents. It is a fact that the patient was admitted to LASUTH on the 17th of June.

“The patient was however eventually operated upon on the 14th of July 2023 (i.e. 28 days after admission in LASUTH). It is therefore strange how the story of the missing/disappearing intestine gained prominence in the media in a patient who was on admission to a public facility (LASUTH) for almost 28 days.

“The question to then ask is, how did the patient survive for 28 days without intestine? In addition to this, it was also established as confirmed by ultrasound scan and X-ray done at LASUTH on the 19th of June (I.e. 3rd day on admission) that there was the presence of normal intestinal movement.”


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