Anxious patient’s relative attacks LASUTH workers, nurse breaks neck, others injured

Oluwatosin Omojuyigbe

21 December 2021

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The Lagos State Police Command has arrested the relative of a patient at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja, for allegedly attacking medical workers at the hospital.

It was gathered that the yet-to-be-identified relative brought the patient with a gunshot injury in a Toyota Sienna to the surgical emergency unit of the hospital around 11pm on Tuesday, December 14.

PUNCH Metro learnt that a nurse at the hospital attended to the patient and advised his relative to leave him in the vehicle, where a resuscitation procedure would be conducted on him.

However, the relative, who became impatient, allegedly attacked three nurses and a doctor at the hospital.

The Lagos State Secretary of the National Association of Nigeria Nurses and Midwives, Toba Odumosu, said the victims sustained varying degrees of injury.

He said, “A patient that was shot in an attack in Agege was brought to LASUTH in a Sienna vehicle and when they got there, the medical personnel started attending to them, while one of the nurses went to get the medical supplies that would be used. The usual practice is that because time is of value, whenever such victims are brought, they are always attended to in the vehicle before being transferred to a ward.

“A female nurse had attended to them and told the relative that brought the patient to leave him in the car where they would have to do resuscitation, but the relative refused and brought the patient out; the patient’s weight overpowered him and the patient dropped on the floor.

“When he saw what happened, he started screaming at the medical personnel and when the female doctor tried to set up the ID line for the patient, the relative attacked the doctor. Luckily, a male nurse that was around saved the doctor and the patient’s relative charged at the nurse, tore his clothes and also pounced on him.

“The patient’s relative started charging at other nurses and everybody had to run for their lives. Amid the commotion, a nurse fell leading to her breaking her neck and she’s now using a neck collar, while the other nurse that went to the pharmacy to get the supplies hit her head on the door of the emergency ward and had a deep laceration. The security guards were later called and the guy was arrested.”

Our correspondent learnt that the suspect was taken to the Area F Police Command in Ikeja.

Odumosu urged the hospital to always provide security for medical personnel.

The Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Adetokunbo Fabamwo, told our correspondent that the management of the hospital would press charges against the suspect.

He said, “I was away for a board retreat; the director of clinical services was on ground and it was from him that I got the information that some people brought in a gunshot patient to our surgical emergency unit and while the patient was being attended to, they got impatient, got aggressive and started attacking the health workers and injured one of the nurses that had a deep gash on her head.

“After that, the nursing union in protest asked nurses to leave the emergency unit that it was not safe; but we eventually prevailed on them to come back because we had called in the police and they had arrested the culprit.

“As we speak, we are pressing charges because our hospital has zero-tolerance for assault on health workers; we cannot stand it. We do not believe that any relation has any business attacking people who are looking after their relative no matter what they think. There are mechanisms for complaints rather than attacking workers.

“We will ensure that the full wrath of the law is applied. Our director of legal services is on the case and we were able to provide the CCTV evidence of the whole scene to the police for prosecution.”

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Adekunle Ajisebutu, promised to get back to our correspondent.

He had yet to do so as of the time of filing this report.

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