Gunshot survivor, Mr. Uwa Osagie, whose right leg was amputated in 2013 after his surgeon, Dr. Sunday Elusoji, sent him for amputation without prior X-ray examination to determine the extent of his injury, has revealed the incident leading to the life-changing encounter.
Osagie was attacked by armed robbers, during which he sustained gunshot wounds. He was subsequently admitted to Our Medical Centre (a.k.a Our Hospital) at No. 2, Jemila Road, Ikpoba Hill, Benin City, owned and operated by Dr. Elusoji.
According to the charge sheet issued by the Medical and Dental Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, the incident happened between 10th March 2013 and 11th March 2013.
Elusoji had admitted Osagie to his privately-owned Our Medical Centre, and had performed in-hospital treatment to relieve the gunshot wounds Osagie had sustained.
As of the time of the incident, Elusoji primarily worked as surgeon with the University of Benin Teaching Hospital, while he also ran his private facility.
Osagie, however, sued Elusoji before the Medical and Dental Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal, alleging medical negligence, malpractice and gross misconduct after his right lower limb was amputated following the surgeon’s intervention.
Osagie also informed the panel how, on April 22, 2013, Dr. Elusoji tried to cover his track by issuing a medical report to his patient, using the letterhead of the UBTH, rather than his own private health facility’s letterhead.
The investigating panel that brought the matter to the MDPDT after investigating Osagie’s petition found Elusoji, a registered medical practitioner and consultant surgeon at the UBTH, culpable for “failing to do good to the patient,” which led to the amputation of his leg.
According to the panel, Elusoji failed to do what he ought to have done to save the leg of the patient from amputation.
The panel noted that the patient was not given the necessary care, as the surgeon did not undertake an x-ray before recommending amputation of Osagie’s right leg.
The medical and dental professions in Nigeria are regulated by the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria.
The MDCN, in furtherance of its statutory functions as provided for in Section 1 (2)(c) of the Medical and Dental Practitioners Act, Cap M8, LFN 2004, codified the rules of professional conduct for Medical and Dental Practitioners in its Code of Medical of Ethics in Nigeria (2008). The council’s mandates include disciplining of errant professionals.
The Medical and Dental Practitioners Disciplinary Tribunal and Medical Practitioners Investigating Panel were established by the MDCN for enforcement of its laws.
According to the MDCN, making a mistake in the treatment of patients, for example, amputation of the wrong limb, inadvertent termination of pregnancy, prescribing the wrong drug in error for a correctly diagnosed patients, failure to do what ought to have been done for the good of the patient, all constitute professional negligence and punishable by laws guiding medical practice in the country.