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National Hospital rejects accident victims in anticipation of bomb blast victims

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National Hospital, Abuja. Inset: Accident and Emergency Unit

A female auto crash victim in Abuja died on Saturday following National Hospital’s refusal to admit her at the Accident and Emergency Unit.

PUNCH METRO gathered that there was an “order from above” that patients should not be admitted to the hospital in anticipation that there might be a bomb blast victims as a result of the threat by the Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta to carry out bombings in Abuja during the 51st independence anniversary on Saturday.

Apart from MEND, which carried out bombings in Abuja when Nigeria marked its golden jubilee anniversary last year at the Eagles Square, Abuja, Boko Haram, the fundamentalist Islamic sect, also vowed to carry out more bombings.

It was learnt that the unidentified accident victim was taken to the hospital at about 8pm by a medical practitioner, Dr. Abiye Kalaiwo, a member of TREM Vision House medical team.

Kalaiwo, who was enraged by the conduct of the medical personnel at the hospital, refused to leave until the victim was attended to. But she died in front of the hospital.

While the tragic drama lasted, another accident victim was brought to the hospital, but was also refused admission.

Kalaiwo has vowed to take up the matter with relevant agencies such as the Ministry of Health and the Nigerian Medical Association.

He said if the hospital had attended to the lady, she would have survived.

Kalaiwo said, “We were in church and there was a road accident right beside the church about 7:05 pm. When I got there, I checked an elderly woman who was lying flat on the floor; she was gasping for breath.

“When I checked her pulse, it was still there. When I came to the office I tried to lay hand on my infusion and tried to do a couple of things to keep her circulatory system completely in order.

“When I got back, a colleague of mine had started doing cardio-pulmonary resuscitation. Since we didn’t have oxygen, we decided to take her to a hospital, which has oxygen. When we got to the Accident and Emergency Unit of the National Hospital, it was like a ghost town.

“I walked in, saw some nurses and introduced myself. But they told me that the Accident and Emergency Unit had been shut down and that they had been told not to admit any patient, unless they were bomb blast victims.

“They told me that they were sorry that the order came from above. I was worried as to who could have given that kind of order.

“They just didn’t answer us. As all these were going on, I started losing my patience and made a lot of noise. Finally, people started trooping out. But a doctor who examined the patient came out and confirmed that the patient had died. But funny enough, she was classified as brought in dead.”

Kalaiwo added that medical ethics demand that whenever a patient is brought to the emergency unit of any hospital, such patient must be given urgent medical attention.

He argued that even if the woman’s heart stopped, cardio-pulmonary resuscitation could bring her back to life.

Kalaiwo explained, “None of that was done. So, we were there and since the woman was dead, they said we should open a folder, after 35 minutes when we got there. I have knowledge of basic and advanced life support. I said if we could take the woman to where she could get good emergency medical treatment she was going to make it.

“During the argument, another taxi driver brought another victim of auto crash from another accident scene. Yet, it was the same story: the nurses still rejected him.

“In emergencies, the first two minutes are critical. The brain could die in the absence of oxygen. Once it is beyond five minutes and someone does not have blood circulating with oxygen, that is when harm is done.”

On the second victim, he said, “I didn’t examine him but based on what I saw, I don’t think that man made it because I took a picture of him and as at the time I took the picture, there was no sign of life in him. There was no chest movement and he was just lying there.

At a point, Kalaiwo said police were called in to lock the gate. “It was a very messy scenario. When the security men came, it was a very clear case. I told one of the policemen that ‘as you are carrying gun here and serving this nation if something happens to you, God forbids, and they bring you here, the way this man is lying lifeless outside the emergency, it is the same thing that will happen to you.’

“Honestly, if I find any human rights lawyer, who is willing to pursue this case, I am willing to cooperate with the person to the end.

“We need to begin to expose certain things so that Nigeria will be a better place. We need to go to any length in pursuing this matter.”

When our correspondent called the spokesman of the hospital, Mr. Tayo Haastrup, on the telephone, he neither picked his calls nor responded to a text message sent to him

Short URL: http://newnigerianpolitics.com/?p=13489

Posted by on Oct 3 2011. Filed under Headlines. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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