Peju would have lived, had the hospital heeded expert’s advice ― Husband

Mr Felix Ugboma, the husband of late Peju Ugboma, Founder and CEO of I Luv Desserts, who passed on April 25, has said the deceased would have survived if medics at the Premier Specialist Medical Centre, Victoria Island, Lagos, where she had undergone an elective hysterectomy surgery, had heeded second medical opinion.

Mr Ugboma stated this, on Tuesday, at the ongoing public enquiry, organised by the Federal Competition and Consumer Protection Commission (FCCPC) to determine circumstances surrounding the death of the deceased, and probable infringements on the patient’s rights by the service provider.

He explained that when it was apparent that the medical conditions of the deceased, who had undergone a surgery at the facility on Friday, April 23 had taken a turn for the worse, he put a call to a foreign-based friend of his and medical practitioner to seek advice regarding what could be done to save the situation.

According to him, on getting acquainted with the symptoms of the deceased, the friend, a gynaecologist, quickly requested to speak with the medics, on the ground at the medical facility.

“They obliged, and he spoke with them. He advised that the deceased be opened up since such conditions must have been caused by internal bleeding. Interestingly, they all agreed with him. But they never did. Instead, they recommended she should be taken to another facility.

“You know what still surprises me in all of this is that my wife did not have any pre-existing condition before the surgery. Before the operations, different tests were conducted on her, including that of COVID, and she was given a clean bill of health.

“Nobody told me or gave me an inkling it could result in fatality. The management of Premier Medical Services never briefed me on that. If I had been told, we wouldn’t have gone ahead, because it was an elective hysterectomy. We had other options.

“Ugboma also expressed his displeasure that close to two months after her demise, the hospital had refused to release her medical records despite several requests from the family.

“We’ve written to them, they simply ignored. And last week, when they brought what they described as the medical record, it was ill-prepared. It wasn’t even signed by anybody, and there was no name on it.

“But other hospitals that we made a similar request to, including Evercare Hospital, in Lekki, where she was reluctantly taken to, when it dawned on them they could no longer handle the situation, had sent her medical record with them, and even refunded a substantial sum from the N1 million I deposited with them when we brought her there on Sunday before she passed on,” he added.

Declaring the enquiry open, the Executive Vice Chairman of FCCPC, Mr Babatunde Irukera, explained that the public enquiry was neither a fault-finding inquiry, nor a professional disciplinary process, but consumer protection.

He added that it was a way of addressing statutory obligations of service providers to consumers.

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