The management of the University of Ilorin Teaching Hospital has accused a professor of medicine on its staff of conniving to conceal from his colleagues vital information on a suspected patient of COVID-19, who died at the hospital last week.
The federal facility said the suspected case had been on self-isolation on arrival to Ilorin prior to his presentation at the Accident and Emergency, A&E, Unit of the hospital “on the advice of the Professor who brought him.”
It said the information of self-isolation “was concealed from the frontline medical personnel at first contact in the A&E, an act that the hospital management considered highly unethical.”
The death of the 57-year-old UK returnee generated controversies among Kwara residents and even social media users.
The state government had denied that it was a COVID-19 related case, adding that all the six samples of suspected cases taken in the state have been negative.
Rafiu Ajakaye, the spokesperson of the Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19, had said in a statement in Ilorin: “The Kwara State Technical Committee on COVID-19 wishes to clarify that the state has not recorded any confirmed case of COVID-19.
“As of now, all the six samples tested from Kwara State have returned negative.”
However, in the reaction of its hospital’s medical advisory committee, which was first circulated online on Sunday, the hospital said the deceased’s travel history was concealed and his case presented as food poisoning.
The hospital’s statement was signed by the committee chairman, Olorogun Emerhor, and the chief medical director, Yusuf Abdullah.
The hospital said: “A 57-year-old male was brought into the Accident and Emergency Department on the night of Wednesday, April 1, in the company of one of the hospital’s Professor of Internal Medicine (a specialist in infectious diseases); with history of abdominal discomfort/stooling, following ingestion of rotten pineapples.
“He was then admitted and managed as a case of food poisoning’. The patient later died in the early hours of the following day, April 2.”
UITH said it was not informed about the deceased’s travel history until after his corpse had been released to a relative for burial.
It added: “Following the patient’s death and release of his corpse to the managing Professor (who happens to be for immediate burial in accordance with Islamic rites), the hospital management received several anonymous calls disclosing information of recent travels by the patient and his wife to UK and having been on self-isolation on arrival to Ilorin prior to presentation at A&E (on the advise of the Professor who brought him)- Information that was concealed from the frontline medical personnel at first contact in the A&E, an act that the hospital management considered HIGHLY UNETHICAL!”
Based on the anonymous information, the University of Ilorin hospital’s management and its COVID-19 Committee labeled it a ‘Suspected Case and notified the Kwara State COVID-19 Committee Response Team.
The hospital said it facilitated proactive fumigation of the hospital’s Medical Emergency Department and advised close contacts of the patient to self-isolate while they are followed-up by UITH’S COVID-19 Committee Team.
Nonetheless, the laboratory samples from the deceased’s wife, the professor, and all others identified as very high-risk contacts were collected for testing, using National COVID-19 guidelines.
PREMIUM TIMES learned that a similar case to the University of Ilorin’s sprung panic in Offa, a local government in the state last week.
It was gathered that an England returnee was suspected to have contracted the disease in a private hospital.
Meanwhile, when the results of the diagnosis were released, it was discovered that he was suffering from diabetic coma and tested negative to coronavirus.
Diabetic coma is a life-threatening emergency that affects diabetes patients. A diabetic coma patient is either suffering from high blood glucose (hyperglycemia) or low blood glucose (hypoglycemia).