Doctors at the emergency unit of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH), last week, turned away a tetanus patient who had waited in the car park for 11 hours because there was shortage of bed in a dark room.
Persons infected with tetanus who are sensitive to light are admitted in dark or quiet rooms because muscle spasms could be triggered by even minor sounds, sights and touch. The patient is sedated and kept in the room.
However, Friday Anari, who had fallen at Egbeda bus stop with cramped muscles and difficulty in breathing, was taken to the Alimosho General Hospital from where he was referred to LASUTH.
He has an injury on his hand and was diagnosed with Tetanus, Bimbo Cash, one of those who took Anari to LASUTH, told FIJ on Friday.
“At 9am, LASUTH asked that some tests be carried out, which we did except for scan that the cashier said would be on Monday. We waited six hours for the test to be out, then returned to emergency unit to submit the results at 6pm. There are three cases waiting in their cars, at exactly 7pm,” wrote Bimbo Cash.
“A male doctor came to check those waiting in the car for emergency care and left. At 8pm, a lady doctor came out, asked few questions only to inform us that there’s no dark room to keep him. Wasted 11 hours at LASUTH…
The doctor was quoted as saying: “Don’t beg me ah; there’s no dark room here, I will write a referral letter for you to LUTH. Don’t wait, it is dangerous, just be going. Don’t waste time.”
Doctors at LASUTH rejected Anari and referred him to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) because there was no dark room. Bimbo Cash said that LUTH was not considered because he had been rejected by state hospitals.
Friday was eventually taken to a hospital at Ibafo, Ogun State, where he was admitted at 12 am; the abdominal scan result from LASUTH was not needed and he was not put in a dark room.
“Doctors at Ibafo said that a dark room was only needed if the patient was affected by light but Friday was not affect by light,” Bimbo Cash said.
“He had the symptoms and it was obvious he has a cut on his hand. I think they didn’t even find anything in the test they asked us to do.
“They just rejected for rejecting sake. I think they were overwhelmed with cases. Tetanus is difficult to manage. If the doctor had properly examined Friday, she would have seen that a dark room was not needed.”
LASUTH told FIJ that it had one bed in its dark room and when it’s filled, other patients are referred to nearest hospitals.
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