A woman, Ms. Victoria Abimbola, has accused the management of the Ikorodu General Hospital of causing her son’s cerebral palsy condition, saying careless handling of her delivery and subsequent overdose of a drug damaged her child, Daniel.
Abimbola said efforts to get assistance from the state government to remedy the damage had been ignored, adding that she had been frustrated.
The 42-year-old woman told our correspondent that she went into labour at the hospital around 9pm on January 12, 2010, when the incident happened.
She said, “I was placed on a drip to induce my labour. After taking about two drips, nothing happened. They called a senior doctor on the telephone. I overheard the senior doctor telling the doctor treating me that he was stupid after the latter explained all they had been doing to induce my labour. After the call, the doctor stopped all that he was administering to me and placed me on oxygen.
“Around 1am, the nurses told him to take me into the theatre for an operation since I did not have strength again. Meanwhile, I rejected the oxygen because it was dripping water into my nostrils. They then told me that if anything happened to me or my baby, I was the cause. Around 2am the next day, they said they could see the head of the baby; yet, no baby came out.”
She added that around 7am, she was taken into the theatre where she was delivered of the baby in less than 30 minutes.
Victoria told PUNCH Metro that she did not see her baby until three days after the delivery, saying she was surprised that he was underweight.
“I was told that he would be okay. They said after the operation, he did not cry and he was unresponsive to attempts to make him cry. He was placed on antibiotics for three weeks. They said with that medication, there would not be any problem,” the mother added.
The Ekiti State indigene explained that when she returned for post-natal care, a consultant told her that her baby would experience delays in growth. She said at three months, the child’s neck was not stable and she was told it was because he did not cry at birth.
“I started a physiotherapy session for him at four months. Within a month of the session, his neck became stable. He started sitting and before five months, he crawled. Exactly a year and four months, he walked perfectly. He was living normally until he was two years and six months old. That was when he had his first seizure,” she said.
Victoria, who teaches in a public school, said she took Daniel back to Ikorodu General Hospital on July 16, 2012, where he was given Diazepam injection, which made him to sleep off, adding that his condition, however, worsened after he had a second seizure shortly afterwards.
She said she took him for a test at the Yaba Psychiatric Hospital, where the family was told that he was suffering from convulsion and epilepsy.
The boy’s mother said she was told that the condition could not be cured and he was placed on Tegretol syrup.
“On Thursday, December 6, 2012, he had another seizure and was rushed to the Ikorodu General Hospital again. We were told to wait because they were attending to a patient. Two doctors were in the ward and both of them were busy with that patient. One of them then instructed a nurse to give him Phenobarb injection.
“After giving him the injection, he kept on jerking and did not sleep off like he used to. About 10 minutes later, the doctor instructed the nurse to give him Diazepam; he slept off and was admitted.
“After five hours, he didn’t wake up as usual. When he didn’t wake up the next day, a doctor came around and said they were going to carry out a Lumber puncture procedure on him by extracting fluid from his backbone which comes directly from his brain to know what was wrong with him,” Victoria said.
She noted that when he woke up on the fourth day, he could not talk, move or eat.
She said, “On the fifth day, December 11, 2012, when I went to see him, I noticed that his two pupils had rolled to one side and they were no longer moving. He started stretching and twitching his neck.
“When a doctor came to examine him, she said he was suffering from meningitis and would be on antibiotics for 14 days. As they administered the treatment, his condition got worse. Consultants would come, check him and change his drugs again and again.
“On the 19th day (December 24) that he was in the hospital, a doctor wrote on his card that a certain injection that kept him calm whenever he screamed should be stopped. When I asked the reason for that, he said the drug might affect his brain. I was instructed to always change his position every 30 minutes since he could not move anymore.
“Later, the doctor came and told me that there would not be anybody to attend to my child for the next two days because of a public holiday. I told the doctor I wanted to take my boy home and I was made to sign for his release.
“He could not walk or move anymore. I came back to the hospital and started physiotherapy session again in 2013. He gradually regained the use of his left hand and legs. He was able to sit and turn as well.
“In 2014, I learnt that his condition could be treated abroad. I wrote to the state government during the Governor Raji Fashola’s administration.
“I was directed to the Ministry of Health where a letter of request for the medical report and possible cost of management was sent to the Ikorodu General Hospital. But the hospital did not respond to it.
“Right now, I am tired; I am begging the government to look into the case. I also seek help from Nigerians.”
When PUNCH Metro contacted the Medical Director of Ikorodu General Hospital, who declined identification, she said she did not know anything about the case.
She said, “If she had written to the Lagos State Government, then they must have directed her to the Ministry of Health. If there is any correspondence to the hospital, I am sure I would have heard about it. But like I said, I do not know anything about it.”