Following the death of a house officer at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Dr. Michael Umoh, after allegedly spending 72 hours on duty, the management of the hospital has told its own side of the story, denying complicity in the death.
Reports said Michael died during a church service at the United Evangelical Church on September 17, after the marathon shift.
Doctors under the aegis of the Association of Resident Doctors, LUTH chapter, in a letter addressed to the Chief Medical Director, LUTH, Prof. Wasiu Lanre Adeyemo, claimed he was stressed from overwork.
According to the association, Michael returned home at about 3:00 a.m. Sunday after a 72-hour shift in the hospital, adding that he had barely slept in their apartment before that day.
It adds, “We the house officers are in deep grief over the loss of our colleague, a co-house officer (Dr Umoh Michael) who died on 17th September, 2023, after having a 72hrs call in the Neurosurgery Unit.
“He is said to have been on call 72hrs before arriving home on Sunday morning to get set for church service, reaching his worship center (United Evangelical Church) where he slumped in the church at about 11 am.”
“His roommate attested to the fact that Umoh Michael had barely slept in their apartment over the past one week as he was always on call or the day he returned home was around 3 a.m. after surgeries and other activities in the Neurosurgery Unit.”
But, in a statement, LUTH gave its own account of what transpired. Public Relations Officer, Omolola Fakeye, said: Re: Reported outrage as LUTH doctor dies after 72 hours non-stop shift
The attention of LUTH Management has been brought to the news going round the social media and other media outlets regarding the death of a house officer in LUTH.
While LUTH Management understands the fact that the family of Dr. Michael Umoh is presently mourning the death of their beloved son and requested the foreclosure of any media engagement regarding the death of their son, it is important for us as a management to make clarifications regarding the circumstances surrounding his death.
Dr. Umoh died on Sunday 17th September 2023 while in church with his parents. The management was informed, and the death was later confirmed by one of the Consultants in his unit (Neurosurgery).
The death of Dr Umoh was unfortunate but the narrative of a 72 hours non-stop shift is false.
The record from Neurosurgery unit shows that the last time he was on call was 13th and 14th September, 2023. He was not on call on the 15th, 16th and 17th (the day he died), contrary to the insinuations on social media. He was at home with his parents on the 16th and 17th September.
Prior to this time, he was on call on the 7th and 8th September, 2023. This shows that Dr Umoh was on call for a total number of 4 days in September, 2023.
A delegation from LUTH visited the family on Wednesday 20th September 2023, to commiserate with the family and to get more details of the circumstances surrounding his death. The parents gave the details of what they thought must have contributed to his death but pleaded that the wish of the family be respected and that the narrative is not for public consumption. However, the family is saddened about the misinformation regarding the death of their beloved son on social media, and other media outlets.
Dr. Umoh was a hardworking and diligent house-officer, and a very promising young man. He will be sorely missed by his friends and colleagues. May his soul rest in peace, and may the Almighty give the family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss.