Kano suspends medical personnel over death of pregnant woman


By Ismail Auwal

The Kano State Hospital Management Board (KSMB) has suspended the staff on duty on the day a pregnant woman, Sha’awa Abdulmumin, died as a result of their negligence.

While confirming the suspension KSMB confirmed negligence from the staff at Murtala Muhammad Specialist Hospital.

The death of Sha’awa has caused public outcry all over the country with many social media users in the country questioning the quality of the public health system in the state owned specialists hospital.

Zainab, the deceased’s sister, had previously voiced concerns that the hospital staff had shown medical negligence in how her sister was treated.

She believes that if the hospital had given Sha’awa the care she deserved from the moment she arrived on September 2, the unfortunate incident could have been avoided.

According to reports, the baby died less than 24 hours after Sha’awa arrived at the hospital, but it was not evacuated until two days later, hours before the mother died on September 5.

Zainab outlined that her sister called her after her “water broke,” but she was not experiencing labor pains, so they went to the hospital. When they arrived, they discovered that not only was the baby breech and weighing more than 4kg, but the amniotic sac, which contains the fluid known colloquially as water breaking, was already empty. As a result, the on-duty medical personnel decided to perform an external cephalic version (ECV), a procedure in which health care professionals attempt to turn the baby to a head-down position.

Zainab, who is also pregnant, said that from this point they felt the hospital staff were not following the best procedure because they felt a caesarean section should have been recommended immediately.

“She had gone through appendicitis surgery before, so no matter how little the problem was, she should have undergone a caesarean section.

“Later in the morning, they told us that the boy had died, and for that reason, they would go for an operation. Thereafter, they requested a blood bag for the operation, which they said would be enough because she had sufficient blood at that moment. And we bought it for them,” she said.

Zainab said they became worried because hours after the blood was gotten, the operation had not been carried out and nobody was coming around to prepare Sha’awa for the procedure. She added that they were told at one point that since the baby had died, there was no urgency in the case anymore.

According to her, when she confronted a doctor on duty, he rebuffed her, asking if he was the one that asked them to get the blood, insisting that he would not carry out any other caesarean section after the third one for the day.

“I kept on following him throughout the night but my effort did not yield any result. She (Sha’awa) spent that night with a dead baby in her womb. Her abdomen later started swelling.

“She was there from Friday to Sunday but did not undergo any operation. It was on Sunday that the doctor on duty decided to carry out the operation. Maybe the doctor was compassionate about her situation because she is a woman. She asked us to bring the blood. Earlier, they requested a bag of blood, but at that point, they requested seven bags due to the blood she had lost.

“Before Magrib (the second to the last Islamic prayers around 6:30pm), she was called for the operation. After they took her in, the doctor who led the team came out and asked for her husband. We knew that we have signed everything in the agreement. She told us that Sha’awa’s survival chances had gone beyond the expected level because she was in an abnormal condition and unconscious,” she narrated.

It took just about 30 minutes to bring out the dead baby, but the entire operation procedure lasted for over five hours.

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