Michael Umoh, the late doctor of Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH) did not die after a 72-hour call, the management said today.
A statement issued by LUTH management debunked the viral news that Umoh was overworked.
“The narrative of a 72 hours non-stop shift is false”, the management said.
The reaction follows another by the Association of Resident Doctors at the hospital.The association also debunked the story and expressed concern about the extent of misinformation being disseminated in the social media.
In Thursday’s statement, the management set the record straight:
“LUTH management understands the fact that the family of Dr 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 Sept 17 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 is 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 Sept. 16 and Sept. 17,” the management said.
Prior to this time, the management said, he was on call on the Sept. 7 and Sept. 8.
”This shows that Dr Umoh was on call for a total number of four days in September, 2023.
“A delegation from LUTH visited the family on Wednesday 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,” it said.
The management described Dr Umoh as a hardworking and diligent house-officer, and a very promising young man.
It said 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” LUTH said.
The Association of Resident Doctors in Wednesday’s statement suggested that the late doctor may have died as a result of sudden cardiac arrest.
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 chain of events that led to Umoh’s death and also disclosed that the deceased was confirmed dead at Reddington Hospital.
“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.