The Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Association of Resident Doctors, on Wednesday, provided the reason behind the passing of a medical house officer, at LUTH, Dr. Michael Umoh, contrary to reports circulating on social media.
The medical professionals also expressed their concern about the extent of misinformation, particularly the recent publication on a fake letterhead from the association, containing unverified and inaccurate information about the events, which have been widely disseminated by media outlets across the country.
In a press statement jointly signed by the president of the LUTH-ARD, Dr Kemi Abiloye, and General Secretary, Dr Adedotun Adesiyakan, they narrated the ordeal that led to Umoh’s death and also disclosed that the deceased was confirmed dead at Reddington Hospital.
The statement reads in parts: “The passing of our younger colleague is really sad and words are not enough to describe the sense of loss that we feel collectively. It has been a turbulent period and we are just beginning to put together the pieces of this sad event.
“The report of our early findings has revealed the following; Dr Michael Umoh was a medical house officer that had only about a month left, to the completion of his housemanship in LUTH. His current posting was in the neurosurgery unit, along with 2 other colleagues at that particular time.
“Their work schedule includes a 48-hour call interspersed with 4 days, which they are not scheduled to be on call. This was an internal arrangement amongst them to allow for a longer period of recoil.
“At about 11 am on Sunday morning, after his calls on Thursday and Friday, he just concluded a ministration at United Evangelical Baptist church when he slumped.
“The exact details of the emergency response after this event are still unclear, but he was said to be taken to Reddington Hospital where his unfortunate demise was confirmed.
“Reports of a background cardiovascular disease that can predispose to sudden cardiac death have not been confirmed either from his family or from his pre-employment medical screening records.
“At this time, what we consider most important is the life of a diligent and amiable young man who has been lost to the cold hands of death. We cannot begin to imagine what toll this is taking on his immediate family and colleagues and can only allow them to mourn peacefully while we strategise on charting a way forward.
“We will be holding a candlelight procession in his honour at 6 pm today and have paid a condolence visit to the family and we have put plans in place to support them in this very difficult time.
“Immortalizing him, however, will mean that a reappraisal of the workplace of doctors is taken seriously and we design deliberate attempts to ensure that the effect of brain drain is cushioned significantly.
“After meeting with family members, they are indeed saddened about the level of misinformation, especially the recent publication of a forged letter headed paper of the association with unverified and false details of events that have been unfortunately spread widely throughout different media outlets. While this is quite sad, they have pleaded to be allowed to mourn quietly and celebrate the life of our gentle young brother in the very way he would have wanted.
“Please, Let us remember to check on one another’s physical, emotional and mental well-being and be kind to ourselves, especially our younger colleagues.”