18.04.2021 stories Nigerian Doctors Slap Sick Patients to Find Veins, Foreign Doctors Use Vein Finder

Published 18th Apr, 2021

By Damilola Ayeni

Dr. Penking, a Lagos-based medical practitioner, has described the common practice of slapping sick people to make their veins visible prior to blood sample collection as abnormal.

In a series of tweets on Saturday, the doctor compared medical practice in Nigeria with what is obtainable in Finland.

“I told my friend in Finland that sometimes I slap my patients’ arms for veins to become visible to site for access to obtain blood sample. She started sobbing profusely and said, ‘How can you be slapping a human that is already sick when you can just use a vein finder?’

“Initially, I felt she was mad to cry but later I realized I was the mad one for not crying too. My country has made the abnormal seem normal for me. My country has ruined me.”

The doctor, who said he felt ashamed telling his friend that he had never used a vein finder, went on to condemn the medical situation in Nigeria.

“The doctor is sweating; the patient is sweating; everybody is sweating. Why? Because the government has refused to do what they are supposed to do? How long will it continue like this?” He said.

“The worst scene is when a doctor in Nigeria wants to site a line for a fat baby. The baby can be pierced more than 20 times. She will cry until tears refuse to come out. Both hands are pierced. Both feet are pierced. Sometimes the baby’s hair is shaved to look for vein in the head.

“Most times the mother is sent out of the procedure room because most mothers can’t stand seeing their child go through such trauma. But this is something that can be averted with a device as simple as a vein finder. Why are there no vein finders in all Nigerian Public hospitals?”

Vein finder is a small device which prevents undue hassle to a patient by quickly revealing his/her vein lines prior to blood sample collection or related medical procedures. It is especially helpful for people with difficult venal access.

Online findings revealed that a vein finder costs N500,000 or a little less.

One reply on “Nigerian Doctors Slap Sick Patients to Find Veins, Foreign Doctors Use Vein Finder”

Love this. It takes exposure to other cultures to understand that what we consider’normal’ is inhumane. Glad there’s a paradigm shift 👏🏾

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Published 18th Apr, 2021

By Damilola Ayeni


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