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NEGLIGENCE: TRIBUNAL DEREGISTERS DOCTOR WHO CARRIED OUT CESAREAN SECTION ON PREGNANT WOMAN WITH THE ASSISTANCE OF ONLY ONE NURSE

One Dr. Sunday Elusoji, a registered Medical Practitioner and Consultant Surgeon engaged at University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH), Benin City, Edo State, has been struck off the Register of the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria (MDCN) after a four-count charge of malpractice and negligence were leveled against him.

His patient, one Mr. Uwa Osagie (complainant), who was treated at his private health facility eventually had his right leg amputated.

However, Elusoji was found guilty of three of the four-count charges. He was found guilty of malpractice, operating his private clinic while under the employment of the UBTH, and pretended to have treated the said patient at the UBTH by issuing a Medical Report using the letterhead of the UBTH.

For the second count, the Prosecution Counsel could not prove that the manner in which Elusoji administered the treatment on the patient caused the patient’s loss of his leg.

The patient had on the 10th of March, 2013, visited the said doctor after sustaining a gunshot injury to his right leg from armed robbers attack. The doctor however failed to take an x-ray on the patient to determine the level of damage before he carried out treatment.

Also, instead of treating the patient in his primary place of employment, he managed the patient at his own private clinic.

While delivering his judgment yesterday in Abuja, the Chairman of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, Prof Abba Waziri Hassan, said: “The prosecution has demonstrated by way of evidence that the respondent failed to take x-ray on the patient to determine the level of damage before he carried out treatment on the patient.”

“Furthermore, this tribunal in assessing and evaluating the evidence before it has no difficulty to come to the conclusion that the respondent also failed to give the required care to the patient. It appears that when the respondent saw the injury on the leg, he quickly formed an opinion and decided to discard the required procedure to administer proper treatment and care, and that again explains the phrase on his case note ‘damn useless right leg following gunshot injury’, what a callous language by a professional of high repute.

“It is clear from the evidence and the exhibits, and it is the considered view of the tribunal that the Respondent is guilty of count 1 of the charge and we hold so.

While the tribunal while considering count 2 of the charge, held the view that there is no ample evidence that could be said to ground conviction of the count preferred against the respondent, it convicted him in the other two charges. As a result, “his name is struck-off the Register.”

In another case, one Dr. Sullyman Kokori, a registered medical practitioner, at Garkuwa Specialist Hospital, No. 1A, Sultan Road, Off Kaita Road, Kaduna State, was found guilty of negligence, which led to the death of one Fatima Abubakar, a pregnant woman under his care.

He had carried out a cesarean section (CS) on her, with the assistance of only one nurse, knowing fully well that she had undergone three CS in the past. Furthermore, he requested for only three pints of blood when he knew she needed more because she was bleeding profusely. These are a few omissions, among others, that led to the patient’s deaths, according to the tribunal. He was suspended for 12 months.

“From the facts, evidence and exhibits before the Tribunal, including evidence from the Respondent himself during Cross-Examination, and in answer to questions raised by the Honourable Tribunal members, the Respondent did not promptly attend to the patient with the standard of care necessary in the circumstances of the case,” the tribunal held.

Also, in case of a three-count charge involving one Dr. Adolphus Oriaifo, a registered medical practitioner and consultant surgeon at Ajayi Oriaifo Memorial Hospital, located at No 1 Felix Elema Street Off Reuben Agho Avenue G.R.A. Benin City, Edo State, he was found guilty of all the charges.

The Tribunal noted that he was manifestly incompetent and grossly negligent in the management of the condition of one Mr. Augustine Dike, now deceased, between 17th and 29th of September 2013. He got six months’ suspension.

“The respondent is a competent surgeon. However, surgery was done under a suboptimal environment, as there was no preoperative evaluation by a specialist. More so, the patient was a known diabetic. Post-operative care was also suboptimal. Given that emboleseis, a recognised complication even when all necessary precautions were taken, the Respondent still needed to do more,” the tribunal held.

Other doctors – Silas Ochejele, Olaide Festus Bolaji, and Adeshina Jenrola, were found not guilty in their different case trials.

@ The Nation Newspaper

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