Medical experts are currently battling to save the life of a 30-year-old mother, whose intestines were allegedly stitched and subsequently cut off by surgeons at Igando General Hospital during a Caesarean Section, reports MURITALA AYINLA
It is a dream of every couple to be blessed with a baby shortly after their wedding. Indeed, every couple prays to quickly join the club of parents soon after marriage. While the man is eager to see his offspring, the wife usually embarks on prayers and fasting to become a mother.
When the prayer is finally answered and the woman becomes pregnant, the search for a good medical facility for the antenatal becomes inevitable for the couple to avert the stories that touch the heart.
The quest for a reliable health facility was exactly what made Mr. Olakunle Odeyemi and his wife, Jumoke, who got married in November 2019, to choose Igando General Hospital when Jumoke missed her menstrual period around February 2020, which indicated she had become pregnant.
They had a choice of going to one of several other health centres and private hospitals located in the city of Lagos.
But they opted for the General Hospital with the hope of getting more reliable healthcare services by competent medical experts.
But today, it appears that the couple’s greatest mistake was the preference for government-owned General Hospital over private health facilities in the city centre as it will take the grace of God for Jumoke to stand on her feet again.
Following what experts described as multiple surgical errors, which occurred while she was being operated upon during a Caesarean Section at Igando General Hospital while she was about to deliver, she has remained bed-ridden for almost eight weeks.
Her medical file showed that she suffers from an Entero Cutaneous fistula (ECF), an abnormal connection that develops between the intestinal tract or stomach and the skin.
The ECFs mostly occur after bowel surgery, especially when handled by quacks. As a result, the contents of the stomach intestine leak through the skin. Findings from an abdomino-pelvic scan she had revealed that multiple air pockets were seen in the umbilical region communicating with a small bowel loop raising an index of suspicion of enterocutaneous fistula.
According to her, the surgeons, who operated on her during the Caesarean section mistakenly stitched her intestine with the tummy while the intestine was cut off during a corrective surgery at the same Igando General Hospital.
Amid tears she narrated her ordeal: “We got married in November 2019. I became pregnant around February, 2020 and I decided to settle for Igando General Hospital for my ante-natal because we felt we will get the best hands at the hospital.
But the reverse is the case. When it was time for my due date, I was told that we should prepare for a Caesarean Section before I could deliver. We made everything needed available to the hospital, and the operation was successfully carried out.
Three days after, I couldn’t understand my system. I wasn’t feeling well. “Precisely, after the third day, my body began to swell up. All other parts of the body were bloating. I was later told that my intestine was stitched to my tummy. The Igando General Hospital management appealed to us that there was a mistake.
Seven days after the surgery, hospital management wheeled me back to the theatre for a corrective surgical operation. Shortly after what was supposed to be corrective surgery, the situation got worse and I began to feel unwell.
“It was unfortunate that the general hospital where we hoped to get the best hands is where we found what seemed like our greatest disappointment.
We were disappointed that doctors could be playing with my life and complicated my child delivery while many nursing mothers who will attend antenatal at the same time but chose to patronise private hospitals for delivery have good stories and experiences to tell and share. We found ourselves in this predicament just because we had trust in government hospitals. I couldn’t take care of my baby like every nursing mother.”
Lying helplessly on the bed at LASUTH, the mother of the six-weekold baby appealed to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the state Commissioner for Health, Prof Akin Abayomi, to urgently intervene in her case to save her life and enable her to look after her baby.
She said: “I’m calling on Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the state Commissioner for Health to use their good offices by ensuring that every necessary step is taken to save my life. The Igando General Hospital cannot deny the fact that they complicated my health condition through the mistakes made in the caesarean section.”
Lamenting the experience at Igando General Hospital, Jumoke’s elder brother, Yinka, told New Telegraph that the Medical Director of the General Hospital, Dr. Madewa Adebajo, admitted that there was a medical error, which, he said, was normal in the surgery.
Yinka added that the hospital management didn’t refer them to LASUTH until the second error was made in what was supposed to be a corrective surgery.
“They refused to open up for us until the scan revealed the enormity of the mistake done by the surgeons. Initially, we all thought that the Caesarean Section was successful but it was when they were about closing her bowel that they made the mistake of stitching her intestine and her tummy together.
“After a few days of observation within the hospital, we discovered that her body was bloating. Seven days after, the hospital management decided to take her back to the theatre for the correction of the surgical operation.
They had to open her again for the second time before the intestine was cut. “When I became worried by the manner in which her case was handled, my sister’s husband and I with my mum demanded to see the Igando General Hospital Medical Director.
The hospital staff told us that there was no way we could see him but when we insisted and threatened to protest the damage done on my sister due to poor handling, they later allowed us to see him.
“When we met him, he confessed to us that the mistake had been done and that such sometimes happens in every hospital. He then said that with the development, he didn’t think they could handle the case any longer because of the complications. It was sad that for almost two weeks, they couldn’t tell us what was wrong with her.
When he told us to arrange for an ambulance that will take her to LASUTH in Ikeja, we told him we had no money again that we never expected the situation to get worse under the hospital’s care. He begged us and then gave my sister’s husband N100,000 to assist the family, saying that he was so sorry for what has happened.
“As we speak, all the experts who had examined my sister’s case at LASUTH are raining abuses on those who operated her at Igando General Hospital, wondering why a professional could make such a colossal error on a human being.”
Yinka, who lamented that the amount of money paid daily on drugs was too much for the family, having spent so much since the incident, added that the Medical Director of Igando General Hospital had refused to pick their calls again despite the fact that he was aware that the complications were from his hospital.
He said: “Right now, we buy drugs of between N200,000 and 250,000 daily, the minimum we spend in a week is about N400,000 and N500,000.
Tell me how long can we cope with that? The expense is too much. These are the complications caused by Igando General Hospital. We decided to come to the government hospital because we thought we would get the services of competent hands.
It is sad that the Igando General Hospital has refused to pick our calls again, after they had put us into this mess.” Meanwhile, efforts to get the reaction of Igando General Hospital Medical Director, Adebajo, proved abortive. He neither responded to several calls made to him nor replied to text messages sent to him on the issue.
But a Director of Public Affairs Unit in the state Ministry of Health, Mr. Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, said he was able to get in touch with the Igando General Hospital, who claimed that the patient’s family only wanted to make money through the case.
According to Ogunbanwo, the Igando General Hospital Medical Director, Adebajo, who also admitted error in the caesarean section carried out by his hospital, said that the management had referred the patient to LASUTH for the needed attention with a sum of N100,000 as financial assistance. He said: “I contacted the hospital management.
They said those people just wanted to make money through the lady’s case. In fact, the picture posted wasn’t the picture of the lady. I was told the lady’s husband was happy about the hospital’s assistance.
“When the error occurred, they gave them the drug prescription they will use but I was told they couldn’t afford the prescribed antibiotics. Instead, they were just buying other substandard drugs.
The hospital said this was why the caesarean section didn’t heal up. That was why they took it up and advised them to go to LASUTH.
They said they even gave them money, adding that the husband appreciated it by prostrating to the MD.
“However, the General Hospital also told me that the lady is doing well at LASUTH, contrary to the claim by the family.”