…Demands investigation in a petition to medical director
By Joseph Erunke
ABUJA – A security expert and Chief Executive Officer of Bravo Guards, Col. Kemi Peters, rtd, has accused the National Hospital, Abuja, of causing the unexpected and untimely death of his staff, a 35-year old father of three, Mr Dennis Godwin.
Col. Peters alleged that medical staff at the hospital abandoned Mr Godwin in the car and watched him slowly and painfully die two and half hours after being taken to the hospital on March 19, 2020.
The doctors, he alleged, “claimed they were not sure if he was a COVID-19 patient.”
The retired Nigerian Army officer, in a petition dated 5th May 2020 to the Chief Medical Director, National Hospital, Abuja, and titled: “Unprofessional Handling of Mr Dennis Godwin Leading to his Unexpected Death”, alleged that the deceased was left unattended to for two and half hours after being taken to the hospital when he slumped at his place of work.
According to him,” the manner and state in which medical staff treated Mr. Dennis Godwin were inhuman, irresponsible and unbefitting of medical doctors who had taken the Hippocratic oath to protect and save life.”
“Indeed while the medical staff had to be cautious and take precautions to protect themselves against COVID-19, leaving Mr Denis Godwin to die without checking and trying to revive him was reckless”, he stated in the petition which a copy was made given to Vanguard.
To this end, he has in the petition to the hospital’s Chief Medical Director, demanded an investigation into the workers’ action that resulted in what he termed “unexpected and untimely death of Mr Dennis Godwin. ”
“The staff behaviour and the unpreparedness of the staff on duty resulted in Mr. Dennis Godwin unexpected and untimely death, we therefore demand an investigation of this incident to avoid a reoccurrence.”
He added, “After he was declared dead we asked that he be moved to the mortuary. They refused to say that since they didn’t know what killed him they could not accept his body in the mortuary. However, after a heated argument a man who seems to be a senior doctor directed that his body be accepted.”
Col. Peters said he had since “visited the National Hospital on 20th March 2020, to complain.”
The petition reads in full: “I am writing on behalf of myself and the family of a 35 years old man called Dennis Godwin.
“He has a wife and three children. Mr. Dennis Godwin was employed by Bravo guards Ltd.
“He was taken to the National Hospital sick on 19th March 2020 at 7:30 pm when he slumped at his place of work.
“He died 2½hrs later still sitting in the vehicle that took him to the hospital, unattended to by the doctors around him.
“The deceased was first taken to Wuse General Hospital where they were told to take him to National Hospital as the hospital doctors were on strike.
“After arriving National Hospital they went to the Emergency and Accident section. There was no medical staff to receive them. They waited 20 minutes before some 3 ladies who presumably were doctors came up to attend to them.
“The manner and state at which the Medical staff treated Mr. Dennis Godwin was inhuman, irresponsible and unbefitting of Medical Doctors who had taken the Hippocratic oath to protect and save life.
“The doctors abandoned him in the car and watched him slowly and painfully die. The doctors claimed they were not sure if he was a COVID-19 patient. Indeed while the medical staff had to cautious and take precautions to protect themselves against COVID-19 leaving Mr Denis Godwin to die without checking and trying to revive him was reckless.
“The staff at the hospital were unprofessional in handling the patient. They stigmatized him and condemned him to die. As a matter of fact, Mr Dennis Godwin did not have the COVID-19 he died due to the negligence and unpreparedness of the National Hospital in putting adequate facilities including staff training in place to handle the Novel coronavirus. If Mr Dennis was suspected of being infected he should have been isolated immediately.
“To leave him in the car for over 2½ hours to die is not only inhumane but callous. It is ironic that when he started gasping for breath the medical staff then decided to give him oxygen but one of the doctors said there was no oxygen available. It is sad that it was after he stopped breathing that a doctor put on protective garments and went up to him to examine him. I wonder why they didn’t use the protective garments to examine him before he died.
“After he was declared dead we asked that he be moved to the mortuary. They refused to say that since they didn’t know what killed him they could not accept his body in the mortuary. However, after a heated argument a man who seems to be a senior doctor directed that his body be accepted. I visited the National Hospital on 20th March 2020 to the complaint.
“I met a lady Mrs. Umar She received us well, heard our complaint, was sympathetic and assured us that investigation will be carried out. She promised to inform us on the outcome of the investigation. Up till now, I have not heard from the National Hospital. It will not be good if this incident is swept under the carpet.
“In conclusion, I would like to reiterate that the staff behaviour and the unpreparedness of the staff on duty resulted in Mr. Dennis Godwin unexpected and untimely death, we, therefore, demand an investigation of this incident to avoid a reoccurrence.”
The National Hospital was yet to react as at the time of filing this report, several days after being reached for possible reaction to the allegation.
The Public Relations Officer of the hospital, Dr Tayo Haastrup, told Vanguard that he was still getting details and would respond thereafter.
“Still getting details, will respond soon”, he said in a WhatsApp message to Vanguard.
The post COVID-19: Ex-army officer alleges National Hospital abandoned 35-year-old father of 3 to die appeared first on Vanguard News.
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