The nephrologist who checked Peju Ugboma, the Lagos chef who died of complications from a fibroid surgery, ought to have placed her on constant monitoring, a medical consultant has said.
Ayoade Akere, who testified before a panel instituted by the Federal Competitions and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) Wednesday, said the constant monitoring should have been done as a ‘proactive step’.
During cross-examination, a member of the panel, Bernard Onigah, questioned if the time between when Mrs Ugboma was at Premier Medical Specialist Centre and when she was transferred to Evercare hospital “threatened her life”.
Mr Akere said the former had to send correspondence to the latter to find out if they had the required equipment to take care of her.
“I don’t see any problem with the timing,” he said.
“Suppose Evercare does not have an ICU and ventilator, they could not have accepted her. But they (Premier) must be able to provide ‘life-sustaining care’ while the patient is waiting to be transferred.”
Mr Akere’s testimony came as a key figure billed to appear before the panel shunned the proceedings.
A doctor with Premier Medical Specialist Centre, identified as Osinowo, failed to appear before the panel investigating a “possible violation of patient and consumer rights” in the death of Ms Ugboma.
The hospital’s lawyer said the doctor had travelled out of the country.
After Wednesday’s proceedings, Babatunde Irukera, the FCCPC chairman, expressed optimism that the deceased’s family would get closure in the matter.
The family had accused the hospital of being responsible for the death of Mrs Ugboma after the surgery.
“We intend to pursue all the provisions of the law that protect the integrity of the process,” Mr Irukera, a lawyer, said.
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Speaking with journalists, Mr Irukera said the absence of the respondents would not stall the proceedings.
“My greatest concern about the absence of the target of an investigation, in this case, is not whether it compromises the ability of the investigation to meaningfully conclude, it’s more about whether it compromises the agencies, its regulator or can potentially encourage others to disregard the law or violate the law,” he said.
“I’m confident that we would be able to come to a conclusion, which would include the testimony of Premier or if we decide that it is unnecessary, it would still be sufficient for us to make a decision.”
He noted that the health facility has complied with all the documents requested by the panel.
“We are going to review the material we have, we are going to continue to engage with all the stakeholders relevant to the investigation like I said it might lead to further oral hearing or in the absence of further hearing, we will continue to gather evidence,” he said.