Couple blame doctor for baby's brain injury [severe asphyxia]

From Punch News,
Parents of 13-month old Nicole Adesanya have called on the Lagos State Government to take responsibility for the alleged negligence of one of its doctors, Bukola Adebayo writes

Mr. and Mrs. Biyi Adesanya are far from being happy right now. They are displeased with the helpless condition of their 13-month old daughter.

The couple, who spoke with newsmen at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja in Lagos on Saturday, said their daughter, Nicole cannot sit, crawl, stand or talk, a problem which doctors have attributed to certain conditions that surrounded her birth.

Adesanya alleged that medical complications that his wife and baby suffered in the course of delivery at the Lagos Island Maternity Hospital on the 22nd of June 22, 2011 led to the pitiable condition of his daughter.

According to him, on a fateful Wednesday, his wife fell in labour and was immediately rushed to the Somolu General Hospital, where she registered as a staff member on the state government payroll, but on getting to the hospital, the doctor on duty said his wife would undergo an emergency Caesarean section to deliver the baby.

Adesanya said, “They said the doctor that could have performed the surgery was not available and that we should go to Island Maternity Hospital for an emergency operation which must be performed that day because of the severe contractions .”

In a petition letter, Adesanya alleged that the doctor on duty that day, Dr. Damilola Adeyemo, rejected his wife in an emergency situation and also refused to honour the referral letter.

“After one hour, it became obvious they would not attend to her. I called a doctor that I knew at Lagos University Teaching Hospital and he said we should bring her but when I asked her (Adeyemo)for the referral letter that we were to present at LUTH and the one they gave us at Somolu, she bluntly refused to give it to us,’’ he said.

He added that the doctor reluctantly admitted his wife later in the evening on the grounds that she was a member of staff of the state government.

“She sent us out of the ward and was asking my wife who was in labour and experiencing severe contractions to give me drug prescriptions outside the ward on several occasions.

“I heard her discussing with another consultant, who told her to sedate my wife. She told her colleague that she had already sent me to buy the injections. At this point I confronted her right there but she slammed the door on me and sent me to get another set of drugs if I wanted the operation to take place that night which I obliged.”

However, Adesanya said when he came back with the drug supplies, his wife had been sedated and the operation that he had been reassured would be done did not take place that night.

He said his wife was later placed on oxygen the following day, because the baby was no longer breathing well and the mother needed the air-support to keep the baby alive.

“She (Adeyemo) still insisted that the CS could not be done on the next day(Thursday) till the third day (Friday).At this point I called Somolu again and they asked us to bring her back immediately for the operation.

“There was no ambulance for us to transport her back to Somolu. I hired a taxi to Somolu and the general hospital operated on my wife 35 hours after we had stayed at the Island maternity hospital.”

Funmilola, the mother, said she later had the baby through an operation at the Somolu General Hospital the following night.

However, there was no sign or symptom to show that something was amiss with her baby’s health till three months after.

Funmilola said, “She started convulsing and falling into seizures every month. We thought it was epilepsy. She could not sit ,crawl, talk or walk and was not responding to sounds. We took her to Ikorodu General Hospital and Massy Children’s Hospital, but no improvement. But doctors said it was not epilepsy.”

According to medical report, Nicole had suffered severe asphyxia at birth, a condition which arises due to many reasons including when a baby does not get enough oxygen before, during, or just after birth.

It also stated that the continuous seizures and convulsion were due to this defect and had degenerated to cerebral palsy, a condition that poses bladder, congenital, visual, mental and locomotive challenges among others in babies.

Adesanya, a software engineer, in his petition letter which copies were sent to the Ministry of Health, Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria and the hospital, has called on the state government to take responsibility for the treatment of his daughter’s condition which he alleged was due to unprofessional conducts of the doctors that attended to his wife during the delivery.

He said, “Every month, she has seizures at least four times and we spend almost N40,000 on drugs and other medical tests. My wife cries everyday and night due to the agony our innocent daughter is passing through. Our pain cannot be quantified. We have invested all our peace, money and time on her since the problem started.

“I cannot concentrate at work and my wife almost lost her job. I want the authorities at Island Maternity hospital to not only look into the matter but also correct the damage as soon as possible.”

In a reaction to this petition August 1, the Health Service Commission set up a panel of enquiry which had all concerned parties in attendance including the accused doctor, the Adesanyas, the hospital and their legal teams.

The Legal Counsel to the Adesanyas, Mr. Don Akaegbu, in an interview, said though the panel had agreed to take Nicole for medical examination within the next 14 days after the sitting, four weeks after, it had yet to see any definite step in that direction.

When contacted, the accused doctor, Dr. Damilola Adeyemo, declined to comment on the matter. She noted that the case was already before the investigative panel.

Also, the Chairman of the panel, Dr. Atinuke Onayiga, said she could not comment on the delay, as the legal team had taken up the matter. Onayiga said, “Our legal team is communicating with all the parties involved and we have submitted all our recommendations to the appropriate authorities.”

Also, the Counsel to the Health Service Commission, Mr. Bamidele, added that the panel was in touch with the legal team of the Adesanyas.

Denying this position, Adesanya said they had yet to hear from the panel after it met and charged the state government not to pay lip service to its commitment to investigating the matter. He said, “They have not called us back since that day. We are the one trying to get in touch with them. They keep saying we should not go to court but they have not even examined our daughter four weeks after they said they would.

“If no action is taken urgently, we will sue. We have contacted a hospital abroad and they say she needs to commence treatment immediately as there is no cure but it can be managed.

“This fight is not just for Nicole. Many Nigerian children are living with mental and physical disabilities that were caused by unprofessional-ism of some health workers. Our future is our children and if all children continue to suffer ailments due to unethical and unprofessional misconduct, then where lies the future?”


  1. hmmmmm chai if nigeria we play politices in all dere do let keep health apart oh bcos de effect we bring shame to the nation.


Post a Comment

Be sociable, share your opinion!
Post a Comment :)