With the fear of COVID 19 raging in the world, the general warning all over the world is to stay safe and stay at home. This advice is especially difficult to follow when the individual is an essential worker and a medical practitioner.
The worst fear of medical practitioners in LUTH has come to pass. On Thursday, the 2nd of April 2020, a patient that later tested positive for the deadly virus was admitted.
A reliable source explains;
“The Accident and Emergency Department of LUTH has been selectively open, sometimes referring cases due to the pandemic. The patient in question was rushed in into the department. While requesting for his history from the patient and relatives, the patient withheld that he had just returned from Holland, He withheld that he had close contact with another who had tested positive for the virus. The now late patient also did not disclose that he already had symptoms of the disease.”
From the scanty details provided, the nurses and doctors in the A&E department were highly suspicious of the patient.
Close to the A&E department is the Spillover Unit. The Spillover Unit is utilized in cases of no bed space or for some high class patient. Due to reasons not yet disclosed, the patient was moved to the Spillover unit where he was admitted by the nurses on night duty.
This is the policy in that unit as Doctors might be held down in other units. The patient was admitted and the Doctors were informed. It was this point; the doctors being told to come review the new patients that things got more suspicious.
The patient having renal conditions had rapidly deteriorated and symptoms of COVID 19 had become more obvious.
After confrontation with the relatives and patient, it was admitted that the patient was most likely COVID 19 positive; the fact that he returned from Holland not so long ago was also revealed. This revelation comes after the nurses, doctors, nursing aides and potters had taken minimal to no protection when dealing with the patient and rendering care. At this point, several if not all staff on duty had been directly or indirectly exposed.
Information Board Nigeria source explains;
“With the lack of basic PPE’s and advanced ones for COVID 19, when the patient had a cardiac arrest later in the night, CPR could not be done”
Currently about 8 staff members have been quarantined. 3 nurses, 1 potter and 1 nurse aid and the resident doctors. All except the resident doctors have been accommodated in LUTH guest lodge for the period of incubation of the virus. This delayed action comes after one staff had already gone home and must have unwittingly infected others and then come back to be quarantined. The Doctors have self isolated in their houses.
This begs the questions; Were all staff that visited the unit quarantined? Has a review of policy been done to prevent this from reoccurring? Does LUTH have PPE’s to tackle the pandemic? Has the Unit been thoroughly disinfected?
The Unit has been disinfected, a source explains. Present patients are to be evacuated and no admission until further notice.
The importance of being honest when giving history to medics is glaring in this case. The number of people that must have been infected, from the cleaners to bedside neighbors, to nurses, aids and doctors all cause of withheld information.
While we wait and pray the staff on quarantine do not test positive, we must all take measures and always be safe. Treat all patients as possible COVID 19 positive. Better safe than sorry.
STAY HOME AND STAY SAFE