Officials of the Korle Bu Teaching Hospital (KBTH) have declared false and misconstrued accusations thrown at them by family members of a 70-year-old-man who was allegedly ignored by nurses on duty in his ill state, leading to his death.
The hospital in a statement noted that, “facts leading to the unfortunate passing of the patient as presented to the general public are laden with inaccuracies and there is the need to set the record straight”.
The deceased whose name the family does not want mentioned, was reportedly rushed to the Emergency and Accident Unit of the KBTH on Thursday after he complained of difficulty in breathing.
An earlier report indicates that a relative of the deceased who only gave his name as Selorm, recounting the incident on the Super Morning Show on Joy FM said calls on nurses and doctors on duty at the time to come to their aid proved futile until later when he was told to go get the patients’ hospital folder.
Selorm mentioned how the lady to issue the folder was allegedly on the phone and nonchalant despite attempts to draw her attention to the urgency of the situation.
After several failed attempts, the family decided to get help from another health facility, a decision which did not come to fruition because the 70-year-old man had given up the struggle minutes later.
Selorm’s account of the incident irked a good number of Ghanaians who expressed great disappointment at the hospital’s management and the nations’ healthcare system.
The Hospital in a rejoinder stated that based on investigations carried out by management, the allegations leveled against them are untrue and outlined the ‘real’ factors that might have contributed to the unfortunate death.
“Based on the investigation that we conducted, when the patient reported, the Polyclinic was unusually busy with both the wards and the Emergency Unit full beyond capacity. Faced with an usual number of emergencies that night, the team on duty had no option than to manage the dire emergencies that night, the team on duty had no option than to manage the dire emergencies in all available wheelchairs,” it read.
The Hospital countered Selorms’ claim of being told to get a folder before seeing the doctor, explaining that, “with emergencies, treatment always starts before the folder is prepared and it was not different in the case. The vital signs of the patient were immediately taken even before the folder was issued. It is therefore false that nobody minded them when they reported.”
The Hospital also clarified that, the patient was not ignored by doctors as purported but rather given first aid treatment as the doctor to attend to him was attending to another emergency case that also needed prompt attention and added that the patients family out of impatience decided to take him to 37 Military Hospital at a point where it was important the patient was given oxygen to stabilize his situation.
“ When the patient’s relatives went to see the doctor, he was already attending to another dire emergency. There was an indication that the oxygen saturation level was going down from the initial values . The team decided to give the patient oxygen while in the wheelchair to stabilize him. It was at this point that the family decided to take the patient to the 37 military hospital against a plea from the nurses on duty.
They however expressed their condolences to the bereaved family and advised the media to verify stories before publication.