BY KOJO ANSAH
THE SUDDEN death of a 54-year-old contractor, Mr Joseph Frimpong, at the Nsawam Government Hospital in the Eastern Region has triggered another issue of alleged medical negligence on the part of nurses and doctors.
Mr Frimpong, who personally drove to the hospital on Tuesday, June 5, 2018, was admitted to the hospital to undergo debridement of diabetic foot ulcer but was allegedly administered general anesthesia instead of spinal/regional anesthesia, which reportedly triggered cardiac arrest, leading to his death on June 7, 2018.
The surgery he was billed to undergo, thus, could not come off.
Sources at the hospital said a female doctor, who was to carry the surgery, scolded a nurse for the death of the patient in the theatre, a criticism which was heard by one of the children of the deceased, who is also a nurse by profession.
In an interview, the male nurse told the DAILY HERITAGE that when he questioned the doctor on duty why general anesthesia was administered, the doctor said it was the nurse who was preparing the deceased for the surgery, hence could not hold brief for her.
“On Thursday, we were waiting for them to call us to the theatre but they never called. Later at 4:30p.m., a call came from the theatre that they should prepare the patient to the theatre. So we were waiting for daddy to come back because it was not a major surgery on the left foot,” he noted.
He added: “So we were just there barely 10 minutes when the doctor said she wanted to have a discussion with me. Only for her to tell me that in the cause of preparing daddy for the surgery he had a cardiac arrest.
“I didn’t get it, so immediately I asked, ‘which kind of anesthesia did you give, is it general anesthesia or spinal anesthesia?’ And they said general anesthesia. I was surprised because in such a minor surgery you need not give general anesthesia so I think my daddy’s body was not able to contain the anesthesia and then had cardiac arrest at 5p.m.”
According to the son, “the family has decided to take it on but we are still deliberating over it. Not that we want to tarnish the image of the hospital but we are doing this because we want the best of healthcare and to curb unnecessary deaths out of medical negligence.”
The widow, Kaakyire Adu, in an interview, said her husband, though was diabetic, was healthy and went about his normal work. She, therefore, could not understand the sudden death.
She said the family wanted the incident investigated by the Ghana Health Service.