The post-mortem result of late Peju Ugboma revealed that she died of massive blood within the abdominal cavity and pelvic floors, a consultant pathologist told a Magistrate Court in the Ogba area of Lagos on Monday.
Olugbenga Oyewole, one of the Lagos State government pathologists who conducted the autopsy, said “the result of a severe accumulation of blood in the abdomen is death if there is no urgent medical intervention.”
Mrs Ugboma, 41, died on April 23 after her surgery at a hospital where she had undergone surgery for fibroid but later suffered internal bleeding.
Following her death, her family accused the hospital of unprofessional conduct resulting in her untimely demise.
The anatomy pathologist told the coroner, Makaila Fadeyi, that the autopsy was carried out at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH).
According to the autopsy document seen by this reporter, she died from “1a: Massive hemoperitoneum with hemorrhagic shock. b. Disruption of pelvic venous plexus. c. Total abdominal hysterectomy (Status post operative).”
Mr Oyewole explained that there were 500 millimetres of blood and 900 grams of blood clots in the body of the deceased.
He said the vaginal vault was sutured while the bladder surface was red. He said they found out that there was excessive water within the brain, while the lungs contained water and blood.
Mr Oyewole also said a compact disc of the pictures taken during the autopsy has been sent to the office of the chief coroner.
Presence of Premier Hospital
Mr Oyewole said some weeks later, he received a text message from Mr Ugboma, the widower, stating that “Doctor Asemota said he would like to be in the autopsy room when we will do the autopsy, I was surprised but I didn’t raise any objection.”
Nosa Asemota was one of the medical personnel that carried out the fibroid surgery on the deceased at Premier Hospital.
“The reason why I was surprised was that most deceased families will not want the management team (Premier Hospital) to be present while you are doing the autopsy because they have the notion that because he is your colleague you will be biased,” he said.
He said the supervising pathologist, John Obafunwa, a professor of forensic pathology, gave the directive that Mr Asemota could be in the autopsy room.
He told the coroner that Mr Asemota was with them “from the beginning till the time we finished the autopsy. The body was well preserved at the time of the autopsy. There is no evidence of decomposition.”
Request for review not “valid”
The pathologist said Premier Hospital’s request for another autopsy is not “valid” in this case.
“What’s the relevance of a review? There are some cases where a second autopsy is irrelevant. Here, blood was in the abdomen,” he said.
“The request was to avoid the obvious evidence because you know that the blood can never be retained in the abdominal cavity during the first autopsy, so a request for a second autopsy can’t be valid.”
The deceased’s husband told PREMIUM TIMES that Premier Hospital called for a review of the autopsy result because they believe that it was compromised even with the presence of their office while the autopsy was carried out.
The coroner adjourned the matter to November 1 and 6.