Saturday, April 4, 2020

Fifty-five-year-old patient dies of COVID-19 in Lagos

A 55-year-old man who was admitted to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi-Araba, has died in the facility.

A reliable source at the tertiary hospital said the man died of COVID-19 complications.

The source said the hospital discovered that the patient had COVID-19 after he tested positive for the virus when a Polymerase Chain Reaction test was done on his blood posthumously.

“Fingerprint antibody test was done on him, confirming his COVID-19 infection,” punch source said.

According to the source, the man, a 55-year-old hypertensive and diabetic patient had presented to LUTH’s emergency unit on Thursday night with “malaise, tremors, and fever.”

He was also diagnosed with acute chronic kidney disease and sepsis.

The source, a caregiver, said the man did not disclose his travel history and had died “a few hours” after his admission to the Federal Government-owned facility.

“The man did not give his travel history or the fact that he had contact with someone who had travelled overseas.

“When asked, he told the doctors that he had no history of coughs, sore throat, joint pains or diarrhoea".

The caregiver said when the patient arrived at LUTH on Thursday night, he was sent to the “spillover unit” because the hospital had run out of bed spaces.

However, when he developed complications, a junior doctor (Reg) at the Accident & Emergency Unit reviewed his case and notified the Senior Registrar of his suspicion.

“After the Senior Registrar reviewed his case and confronted him with their findings, the man revealed the true story about his travels and his fear that he might have contracted COVID-19 but he died shortly afterwards.

“He confessed that he had been coughing and that he had returned from Holland two weeks ago, where he had gone for follow-up treatment after a renal transplant he also had there.

“When confronted after the man’s death, his family members said they withheld the information about his likely COVID-19 infection because they were afraid that LUTH would reject him if they disclosed his true state,”

The man died early Friday morning, and the Lagos State coronavirus emergency workers took away his body.

When Saturday Punch put a call across to the Lagos State Emergency Helpline for COVID-19, an official at the centre said a similar call had also been placed by someone earlier regarding the incident.

“I got a call in respect of this from somebody in LUTH and we have yet to confirm that.

“We are only at the call centre to receive calls and don’t know what is going on out there,” the officer, who identified himself as Tolani, said.

Asked if it was a LUTH staff member that called the helpline, Tolani said he didn’t know the person’s identity. “I just got a random call,” he said..

Meanwhile, a text message to confirm the development was sent separately to the Chief Medical Director of LUTH, Prof. Chris Bode; and the Lagos State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi.

Replying to the text message, Prof. Bode Chris said, “Confirm that with the Hon Commissioner of Health, Lagos State.

“He is the only one who gives out details and figures during an epidemic.”

The Health Commissioner had yet to respond to the text message as of the time of filing this report.

When punch correspondent called the Health Commissioner and the Director, Public Affairs at the Lagos State Ministry of Health, Mr. Tunbosun Ogunbanwo, their individual phones rang out without being answered.

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