A medical practitioner with Premier Medical Specialist Centre, the hospital accused of professional misconduct leading to the death of a popular Lagos chef, Peju Ugboma, appeared Friday for the first time before the magistrate court in Ikeja, Lagos.
Renner Kingsley, an anaesthetist who had earlier failed to appear before a public hearing instituted by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC), gave his testimony from Saudi Arabia before a Chief Magistrate, Mukaila Fadeyi, of Court 13.
PREMIUM TIMES reported how Mrs Ugboma, 41, died on April 23 after her fibroid surgery at Premier Specialist Medical Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Her family had accused the hospital, Premier, of unprofessional conduct resulting in her untimely demise.
When Mr Kingsely was cross-examined by the deceased family’s lawyer, Oluwaseun Akinde, why it took three hours to transfer the deceased during an emergency to another medical facility, Mr Kignsley said delays in such situation could be categorised into three; primary, secondary and tertiary which could be as a result of logistics, space, traffic.
When he was asked by the coroner the reason for the delay in the case of Mrs Ugboma, he said “this question is very best answered by the management team.”
Mr Kinsley said the surgery was already scheduled when he came into the theatre, adding that he went through the case notes detailing her medical history on the day of the surgery.
Mr Akinde again asked “generally, is it an operation that is scary, such that as part of recommendation we should tell women not to go near it. Or it is such that depending on the case itself there may now be other issues?”
Mr Kingsley said it depends on the patient’s state. But in the case of the deceased, he said “this is not minor surgery, let me correct that impression.”
“This surgery is a severe traumatic procedure because we are going to remove a section of the person’s organ and it is not going to be a child’s play, removing the uterus or womb and then coming out, it is going to be challenging. This patient has had previous surgery,” he said.
In the continuation of his testimony, a witness for the Ugboma family, Oluwatosin Ajala, whose professional conduct was questioned in the last sitting, said the deceased “was never in a stable condition” and her respiratory rate was also not normal.
Mr Ajala, a member of the Royal College of Gynaecologists and Obstetricians in the UK, said a problem could arise at any moment in this kind of surgery but notwithstanding it was an operation “with fewer risks.”
He said the deceased was an anaemic patient who went for surgery. “She continuously bled and was not adequately sustained,” he said.
Mr Ajala said the Nigerian healthcare system does not have a “problem in terms of knowledge skills. ” While he recommended that there should be guidelines dictating what to do “when you have such a situation.”
This newspaper reported how the lead counsel of Premier hospital, Abimbola Akeredolu. questioned the medical expertise of Mr Ajala.
She had noted in the last sitting that Mr Ajala, the Ugboma family gynaecologist, who is the head of a clinical department in a UK medical facility, had at a time faced an inquest and was “reprimanded” in the UK over the death of a twin.
Also, Babatunde Irukera, chairman of the FCCPC,while cross-examining Mr Ajala, said “your conduct was brought under scrutiny. Is the reprimand consistent with losing your license?
Mr Ajala said “No, I was neither given a warning or a sanction. The case was reviewed.”
He added that the inquest he faced in the UK led to guidance and multiple reviews which were not exclusively done by the disciplinary authorities.
Mr Ajala said in the UK there is an ombudsman created by the government for each sector to oversee unprofessional conduct.
The Chief Magistrate adjourned the inquest sitting to September 16 due to poor internet connectivity from Mr Kingsley.
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