LUTH Nurses Ignored My Pregnant Wife As She Lay Dying – Bereaved Husband

LUTH Nurses Ignored My Pregnant Wife As She Lay Dying – Bereaved Husband

Heavens smiled on Mr. David Akingbehin, when his 45-year-old wife, Margaret, told him she was pregnant.

LUTH Nurses Ignored My Pregnant Wife As She Lay Dying – Bereaved Husband

After their last one was born 12 years ago, the couple had tried to have another for more than a decade without success.

“When we learnt she was pregnant, we were overjoyed,” David told our correspondent.

He said they agreed that the gift from heaven must be well taken care of. So, Margaret registered for ante-natal at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, Lagos.

“She never missed her ante-natal appointments. In fact, medical officials at LUTH commended her for her regular attendance. She went there every Thursday. We knew she was due between February and March,” David told Saturday PUNCH at their home in Kofoworola Street, Jakande Estate, Isolo Lagos on Sunday.

On February 28, 2013, Margaret started feeling some pains in her tummy.

Our correspondent learnt that she quickly picked her purse, took her hospital card, drove her Sport Utility Vehicle to LUTH since it was her appointment day.

On the way, she called her husband, who was not around at the time, to inform him that she was on her way to the hospital.

David narrated how expectant his family was about the child Margaret was carrying.

He said, “We repainted the house, did some more decorations and made a lot of adjustments to the home, just to ensure that our child comes into a lovely house. We spent at least N2m, to show you how serious we were about that child.

“The child was supposed to be the joy of our family. We wanted to give everything we had to ensure the child was well taken care of.

“We actually decided she should register for ante-natal at LUTH because friends had told us that since it is a federal hospital, they would have capable hands who would ensure she had a safe delivery.”

But Margaret, who drove to the hospital in high spirits, never came back home.

Even though David is mourning, the circumstances surrounding his wife’s death have caused him to cry out for justice and demand answers to what happened.

“The hospital staff killed my wife,” he simply told our correspondent.

When our correspondent visited David, sympathisers and family members surrounded him, consoling him and expressing their anger at the staff of LUTH who allegedly left Margaret uncared for before she died.

Dabbing his eyes occasionally with a handkerchief, David narrated what happened.

“A doctor who attended to Margaret two weeks ago during her ante-natal appointment had told her that she was going to be delivered of the baby through CS because of her age. We had already agreed that it was fine by us.

“On that Thursday, my wife called me from the hospital and said one Dr. Makwe had said she would be admitted and scheduled her for a Caesarean Section. She even suggested to the doctors that she would come back on Monday but I insisted that she should just stay there. I told her there was nothing for her to do at home that I could not handle.

“The following morning, she had already paid all the necessary bills. They had also secured a bed space for her. Around 6am that morning (Friday), she called and said she was being moved to the labour ward,” he said.

According to David, by 7 am, he arrived  the hospital with the things his wife needed.

Margaret told him that a doctor who attended to her had quarrelled with another doctor on duty for keeping her waiting.

David said, “My wife told me the doctor said it was an emergency case, that they should have scheduled her for a CS right away. She said a device was used to examine the breathing of the child and it was learnt that the baby was in distress.

“But can you believe that since about 7am that the doctor instructed that she should be scheduled for a CS, they did not make any attempt to take her to the theatre until 2pm?

“She was delayed for those hours before she was moved to the theatre. At this time, she was already having contractions. They took her to the theatre and brought her back to the ward. They took her back on two occasions. She had started experiencing serious pain at that point.”

David said as he agonised over the state of his wife, he learnt that someone else had been rushed to the theatre, which was why his wife had to be taken back to the ward.

He told Saturday PUNCH he overheard some of the nurses say in Yoruba, ‘We need to attend to staff first.”

He explained that the way they said it made it unclear whether the patient who had displaced his wife was a wife of a staff member or an employee.

It was learnt that when David started complaining about his wife’s situation and how the medical personnel had neglected her, they asked him to go out. At this point, Margaret was kept waiting at the pre-surgical room of the theatre

David said, “They did not even care about her as she writhed in pain. When they asked me to go out, I could even hear the nurses chatting. They did not care about the pain she was feeling.

“While I was waiting outside, I think a nurse must have noticed she was groaning. I heard someone say, ‘the baby’s head is showing, don’t push’. But the baby later came out and it was found dead in the room. Some moment later, my wife died in the same room and I did not know. They told me nothing until about 4 pm.

“One of the nurses called me to go see Dr. Olorunfemi, who was on duty. He could not even look at me in the face and tell me what happened. I asked him what happened to my wife and he just held his head and said ‘sorry sir.’ I told him immediately, ‘You people have killed my wife.”

The Akingbehin family has decided to petition the Medical Council of Nigeria and the Chief Medical Director of LUTH. They insisted either the hospital staff’s negligence or preferential treatment given to a patient who displaced Margaret in the theatre killed her.

They said they needed the hospital to take responsibility for her death and apologise, nothing more.

David is left to care for his two children at the moment. One thing he said he would regret for the rest of his life was choosing LUTH as the hospital where his wife would give birth.

But the hospital has denied abandoning Margaret at the time she was supposed to undergo the CS.

Spokesperson for the hospital, Mrs. Hope Nwakolo, told our correspondent on Wednesday, “It is true she was scheduled for an emergency CS but when the deceased was taken to the theatre, two emergency surgeries were being done there. So, the doctors had to wait until the ongoing surgeries were completed.

“By the time it was her turn, she had developed complications and it is truly unfortunate that her case turned out the way it did. Efforts were made to rescusitate her without success.”


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