Parents of a 21-year-old undergraduate of the University of Lagos, Akoka, Tosin Folalu, have blamed his death on the alleged negligence of the institution’s medical centre.
They said the late 100-level student of Economics was in the throes of death and gasped for about seven hours without being attended to by a doctor.
PUNCH Metro learnt that Tosin had collapsed in his hostel room and was rushed to the centre, where he was admitted.
It was gathered that the sickle cell patient complained of body pains, which did not subside after spending two days at the hospital.
Tosin’s mother, Juliana Folalu, who lives in Iseyin, Oyo State, said she had travelled to the school on the third day of his sickness when a doctor at the facility told her on the telephone that there was no improvement in Tosin’s health condition.
She said, “On Monday, July 17, the school porter called us that he had been rushed to the medical centre. Our relatives in Lagos went to check on her. I got to the medical centre around 5pm on Wednesday, July 20, and met my son groaning with pains. Around 8pm, his breathing became abnormal. I complained to the nurses, but they said it was as a result of an injection they gave him and assured me that he would be fine. They didn’t leave their seat.
“They put on an air conditioner, even though I complained he didn’t need it. I used hot water to massage his body when they didn’t respond. He vomited twice and I rushed to complain to them again. A nurse followed me and gave him an injection. He continued to breathe heavily. She didn’t check his pulse. Afterwards, she gave him Paracetamol injection. She was the only person attending to him; others had slept.
“Around 10pm, another nurse came to check his breathing. She said it was abnormal and asked her colleague to bring oxygen. I told them that his condition might not have degenerated if they had taken the necessary actions.”
The mother stated that after they tried in vain to resuscitate Tosin, they put him in an ambulance around 5am and took him to the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi Araba, where he was confirmed dead on arrival.
Juliana said, “The nurses and I followed him. He barely breathed while we were in the ambulance. I was calling his name, but he didn’t answer. When we got to LUTH, a doctor came to check him inside the ambulance.
“The doctor questioned them for bringing him late. I explained to the doctor that I had been complaining since the previous day. He called me and said my son was dead. If they had referred him on time he would have survived.”
The deceased’s father, Adeniyi Folalu, said it was painful that Tosin died “as a result of the care-free attitude of the medical centre,” describing him as an intelligent son whose loss was irreparable.
He, however, said the family had accepted the loss in good faith.
Adeniyi urged the school authorities to keep a close watch on the medical centre to avert avoidable deaths.
“He was an exceptional child; very intelligent. His coursemates said they were saddened because he always gave them tutorials. He was the one who managed my computer centre when he was around. He studied Accounting at The Polytechnic, Ibadan,” he added.
The spokesperson for the university, Mr. Toyin Adebule, flared up on the telephone when our correspondent asked for the institution’s side of the story on Friday.
He said, “PUNCH, sickle cell anaemia killed the son of a professor here. If you want to know about sickle cell anaemia, talk to doctors first. These are things that sometimes are not manageable; it comes with death. It is not something you blame doctors for; they tried their best.
“I am tired talking to you people on the phone; you can go ahead and publish whatever you have. I am not ready to talk to you on the phone because I have not even got facts about what you are talking about.
“I will call the director of the health centre. Write whatever you want to write; we will put out a rejoinder. Next time you call, I won’t even pick it up. Our health centre is one of the best.”
Adebule did not get back as of the time of going to press on Sunday.
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Parents tackle UNILAG hospital over undergraduate’s death