The controversy caused by the death of a graduate, Kolawole Idowu, in a Lagos hospital has depeened as the result of the autopsy conducted on his remains says he died from pneumonia.
A death certificate issued to the family, a copy of which was obtained by PUNCH Metro, dated July 26, said the 29-year-old was killed by the lung infection.
The mother of the victim, Mrs. Mopelola Osiyemi, said the report had raised more questions than answers on how her son died.
PUNCH Metro had reported that Kolawole had just finished his National Youth Service Corps when he took ill.
He was said to have gone to the Ikeja Medical Centre, a private hospital in his neigbourhood, where he was treated for malaria and after a negative reaction, he was admitted for mental illness.
After spending about two weeks at the hospital, he was transferred to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja.
He was admitted to the psychiatric ward and later went into a coma.
Our correspondent reported that he was taken to the Intensive Care Unit of LASUTH when his illness became critical.
He died after spending about two months in the ICU.
Doctors at LASUTH had said he was received as a psychiatric patient, but further checks showed that his ailment was not purely a psychiatric issue, adding that he had an infection called meningoencephalitis.
The workers of the Ikeja Medical Centre frustrated all efforts by PUNCH Metro to get their side of the story, including harassing our correspondent.
The medical certificate of the cause of death, signed by one Mgbehoma Ikenna, of the Department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine, LASUTH, said, “I hereby certify that I have performed an autopsy on the body of Kolawole Idowu, who was stated to be aged 29; that I saw him on July 4, 2017; that he was then dead; that he died as I was informed on July 1, 2017, at about 4pm; and that the cause of death was to the best of my knowledge and belief as herein stated, la:Bronchopneumonia; and that the disease had continued till death.”
Our correspondent observed that the primary and secondary causes were cancelled by the writer, who simply stated the cause of death as bronchopneumonia.
The victim’s mother, Osiyemi, said the family was almost done with its petition to the Medical and Dental Council of Nigeria against the Ikeja Medical Centre.
She, however, expressed surprise at the report.
She said, “I don’t know why it took such a long time for the certificate to be released to us. Ordinarily, it shouldn’t have taken this long. And now, they are telling us he died from pneumonia.”
A medical expert, Dr Olubunmi Omojowolo, said it was possible that the deceased contracted the infection in the LASUTH ICU, adding that it could be the secondary cause of death.
He said, “He could have died from pneumonia as a secondary cause. Any patient in a coma has a high risk of developing orthostatic and or aspiration pneumonia.”
He advised the family to demand a comprehensive autopsy report to know other things involved in the death.
Another expert, who did not want to be identified, expressed surprise at the report, saying it was abnormal.
“It looks funny because they didn’t state the primary and secondary causes of death which is very unlike the pathologist. This is not standard practice,” she said.
The Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Prof. Adewale Oke, said there would be a meeting of all the doctors involved in the treatment of the deceased to ascertain what really happened.
He explained that the deceased brain had yet to undergo tests.
He said, “We are having a meeting tomorrow (Monday). Anybody that has all the symptoms (exhibited by Kolawole), like seizures; it has to be in the brain. The brain has been sent for toxicology. However, from experience, when you put tubes in the trachea for the patient to breathe, it could lead to an infection.”