The family of a Lagos-based pastry chef, Peju Ugboma, has accused the management of Premier Specialist Medical Centre of negligence which they claimed led to their daughter’s death.
In a statement at the weekend, the family said doctors at the hospital had recommended that an elective surgery be conducted on the deceased who was battling fibroid.
According to the family, Ugboma walked into the hospital herself unaided while all necessary tests including an electrocardiogram (ECG), Packed Cell Volume (PVC) as well as COVID-19 showed she was okay before the surgery.
It added that preliminary tests also revealed that her vital organs were okay as she had no preexisting conditions prior to the surgery.
The statement said after depositing the sum of one million naira, the surgery eventually took place on April 23 and was carried out by medical personnel at the hospital.
It added that a day after the surgery, the owner of I Luv Desserts had complained to her husband that she was having severe abdominal pain.
The family said the husband initially thought that the development was not unusual, considering she just had surgery but raised concern when he noticed that her blood pressure had dropped to as low as the range of 50/30
“However, her blood pressure had dropped to as low as the range of 50/30. The doctors then gave her blood transfusion because she had lost a lot of blood during the surgery,” the statement added.
“Early on Saturday morning, she told her husband that the veins on her hands had collapsed and the hospital wanted to give her fluids on a vein close to her neck and collarbone.
“She also mentioned that the doctors said her kidneys were not functioning optimally, and a Consultant Nephrologist had been called in to come in that Saturday morning.
“This was a shock to them both as all tests prior to surgery were fine. The Consultant eventually came in as scheduled but dismissed both their concerns.
“By Saturday evening, she had been given 3 pints of blood. It’s worthy to note that none of the gynecologists who performed the surgery attended to her throughout that Saturday despite all her pain and concerns expressed by her husband.
“That same Saturday evening, her blood pressure dipped further. The doctor told her husband that they would need to move her to the ICU. He was asked to pay an additional N1.5 million before she could be moved to the ICU and he paid the money without delay. Peju was admitted into the ICU immediately after payment.
“The doctor then told her husband that he needed an additional 3 pints of freshly donated B+ blood, as Premier Specialist hospital did not have any in the Hospital’s blood banks.
“This left him with no choice but to go on a blood donation drive from friends and family. Several donors were screened and they donated a total of 9 pints of blood that night.
“As this was going on, Peju kept complaining of severe pains, and her eyes had turned yellowish. At about midnight that Saturday, she was sedated intravenously. By 6.30 am on Sunday, her husband was surprised to find out that his wife had been placed on a respirator.”
The family said amid the worsening condition of the deceased, her husband had reached out to a UK-based consultant gynecologist who expressed concern and requested to speak with the doctors at the hospital.
The statement added that the medical expert had said the deceased must have experienced severe internal bleeding and needed to be moved back to the operating theatre for the bleeding to be stopped immediately.
The family alleged that the doctors at the hospital, however, ignored the advice.
“Premier decided to move Peju to a hospital where she could have a CT Scan and possible dialysis. By 10 am on Sunday, her husband was informed that his wife would be moved to Evercare Hospital, Lekki Phase 1. However, it took 3 hours before she was moved to Evercare,” it added.
“Immediately she arrived there she was met by their medical team and taken to the ICU. Her husband was asked to pay another N1 million at Evercare, and he made the payment immediately.
“The head of the ICU detected that Peju did not have a pulse and emergency CPR commenced immediately. This failed and she was pronounced dead by 2.20 pm on Sunday.”
The family also alleged that after Peju’s death, the hospital attempted to stifle efforts to have an independent autopsy conducted on her body.
The family said an eventual independent autopsy carried out by pathologists at Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) “with credible observers and Premier hospital in attendance revealed that Peju suffered internal bleeding.”
It added that it “was discovered that she had about two litres of blood in her abdomen and pelvic area.”
The family said, “it is shocking to note that Premier hospital was negligent enough not to pick this up and save her life.”
Her death, the family said, “has left behind two heartbroken little girls, a grieving husband, and an aged mother and countless loved ones.”
As of the time of filing this report, the management of Premier Specialist Medical Centre has yet to respond to the allegation.