Death of Legon student: 37 Hospital doctors accused of negligence

The family of Theodore Kwame Nutuse, a 19 year old student of the University of Ghana, who died at the 37 Military Hospital three weeks ago, is blaming junior doctors there for his death.

Apparently the doctors at the emergency department failed to call for the assistance of a senior medical officer after their 10 hour-long effort to diagnose and treat his condition turned fruitless.

Elizabeth Owusu, the mother of the deceased, told JOYNEWS’ Kwetey Nartey that she took Theodore to the hospital when he complained of pain in his stomach.

According to her, they spent thirty minutes waiting for a doctor. When no doctor showed up, Ms. Owusu says she located a female doctor who declined to examine the boy, claiming that her shift was over.

The distraught mother explained that even when they found a doctor to prescribe some medication for her son, there was a further delay in treatment, as the doctors claimed the unavailability of a bed for him.

Meanwhile, Theodore’s uncle, Kwabena Peprah, is demanding an investigation to establish the cause of death.

He cited a discrepancy between the cause of death written on the death certificate and the medical prescription that had been written out for the deceased’s treatment.

Mr. Peprah suggested that the medication prescribed was for appendicitis and not for diabetes and he questioned the supposed discrepancy.

He also indicated that when the family claimed Theodore’s body for burial, they noticed cuts to his face. He wondered whether the boy may have fallen sometime during his treatment.

But hospital authorities have defended the actions of the medical personnel.

The Acting Director of Public Affairs at the Ghana Armed Forces, Lt. Col. Eric Aggrey-Quashie said the doctors followed standard procedures in attending to the deceased.

Addressing the confusion over whether the deceased was suffering from diabetes complications or from appendicitis, he said, “There’s nothing about appendix on Theodore’s file”.

When questioned about the female doctor who allegedly refused to see to Theodore, the acting Director said that the doctor in question may have closed from her shift and that there may have been a new doctor already on call to replace her. In such a case, he concluded, “She may not be the person to attend to a new case.”

This complaint of negligence comes about two months after similar allegations of negligence at the Ridge Hospital in Accra, in which a night doctor reportedly refused to see to 18-year-old Benjaming Amartey, the young man passed away.

The Ridge hospital administration last week admitted guilt and offered a "gargantuan apology" to the Amartey family.

Source: Ghana | | Maame Aba Daisie