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Panic among patients and Doctors at LUTH

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The death of a patient, who was suspected to have had the Ebola Virus Disease, has caused panic among patients and doctors at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital, Idi- Araba, on Tuesday.

A doctor in the hospital told our correspondent in Lagos on Tuesday that the patient had been brought in by the port health authorities at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Ikeja.

The doctor, who asked not to be named, said he was on duty when the patient was admitted into the Accident and Emergency Unit.

He said the dead patient was vomiting blood and stooling, symptoms which are similar to that of a Ebola, before he died in the early hours of Tuesday at the Spill-Over Ward of the hospital.

He said, “They rushed him to the Accident and Emergency Unit, and since he was vomiting and purging and he also had high fever, we quickly took his temperature, it was very high. We were all scared to take his blood samples because we were not wearing any Protective Protective Equipment.

“We had to take him out of the emergency ward to the other spill-over ward to avoid any form of contamination. We also reported to the Lagos State government so that they can take him to the Infectious Diseases Hospital in Yaba for proper treatment. But he had started vomiting blood by this morning, and few hours after he died.”

The doctor said that the body has being transferred to the Mainland Hospital, Yaba, for testing and confirmation of the cause of death.

The source said, “Like I said, we could not take any blood sample when he was alive because we were not wearing PPE, and we could not manage him effectively because of the severity of the symptoms we saw and considering the fact that he was coming from the airport. He could have been coming from an Ebola – affected country.

“They will need to establish the cause of death, so as to be able to know whether to quarantine those that he had contact with from the airport to the hospital. LUTH does not have the facilities to handle any suspected case of Ebola, government should know that, so they don’t keep bringing suspected cases here. All suspected cases should be taken to IDH.”

When contacted, the LUTH Chief Medical Director , Prof. Akin Oshibogun, said the death of the patient was still being investigated.

Oshibogun said, “We have been able to establish that this patient has no history of Ebola or any contact with a person that had Ebola. We are only trying to investigate the patient. If there is any we will let you know. As long as we are in the hospital, from time to time, we will always have high index suspicion and most times these patients turn out to be negative.

“There is a difference between suspected or confirmed cases. We are only investigating the case to protect our people. We have had that situation two times in the hospital now. If we have a case we will announce it. In the case of this patient, for the fact that a patient has high index suspicion does not make the patient an Ebola patient. When you create panic many nurses may decide to abandon the patients.”

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