Baby Raymond

Below is a review I received from a viewer who’d prefer to be anonymous. Read his experience and then view my thoughts below:

It was a Saturday night. I had just returned home from the hospital after my brother regained consciousness following a surgery (entirely different story for another day) and was told that my five week old son, Raymond, was running a slight temperature. It didn’t seem like anything to worry about at the time, but at about 2am Sunday morning, he started stooling. It was about an hour apart between stools but by 6am it was down to 45 minutes.

And then I made a big mistake.

We rushed him to Duro Soleye Hospital at 34, Allen Avenue in Ikeja. We got there by 7:30am and didn’t get to see a doctor till 9am. Apparently the doctor who was on night duty was ‘fagged out’ after a night of staying awake watching TV (there were no emergencies that night. I asked!) and so was ready to go home. We pleaded for nearly 15 minutes before he agreed to see him ‘as an act of mercy.’ The doctor cursorily examined him, pronounced him severely dehydrated and admitted him. Then the Doctor left the building.

It took another 45 minutes before anyone came to take us to the room. A nurse brought us Oral Rehydration Therapy solution (ORT) and told us to give it to him every 5 minutes. He was already visibly weak and his ruddy complexion had paled into an ashen grey. My wife was in tears as she tried to give him the ORT. But scarcely had we begun when a student doctor and a nurse stormed in saying they needed to set up an IV line (or Drip, as it is more commonly known).

What followed was the most agonising hour of my family’s life. Raymond was pinned down by two nurses while the student doctor began piercing the 5 week old baby’s body in search for a vein. My son’s crying was horrendous to hear. So between comforting my wife and praying for a lucky break for this student doctor who was so obviously out of his depth, I was completely disoriented. They tried his wrists, they tried his feet, they tried his arms – prodding, piercing, twisting, turning and all the while he shrieked.

This went on for 45 minutes and his cries were getting weaker while my wife’s were getting stronger. I stormed into the nursery and told them to stop. I asked if the drugs couldn’t be administered orally and they said no. Apparently in a bid to offer me comfort, the matron said ‘he’s a baby, and with babies, getting a vein is trial and error.’ WHAT??? TRIAL AND ERROR???

Meanwhile the Paediatrician had come in, all dressed up to the nines in her Sunday Best. I thought, ah Thank God, someone with more experience. She didn’t even look at Raymond once, possibly because he would upset her planned schedule. I overheard the Matron tell her that there was an emergency with a severely dehydrated baby and was shocked to my very core to hear her say she was leaving by 10:30 sharp and was only doing discharges that morning. How could I even approach such a callous person without my smouldering displeasure erupting into full blown violence? So I told her my son was dying and I let her be. She obviously put it down to the histrionics of a parent’s pain-altered mind as she did not so much as say a word in reply. She actually left the building at 10:30 sharp. She never came to our room.

After torturing Raymond for an hour they gave up and brought him back to us and said we should start him on ORT. They gave us a bottle and said we should collect his stool the next time he stooled. The next time? What about all the diapers we had taken off? Couldn’t they analyse that? Apparently not.

Well, we continued the ORT and were barely 15 minutes in when Raymond started to throw up. We rushed to the matron to report and she said ‘burp him.’ She didn’t even look up from what she was doing. A child who is severely dehydrated, losing weight by the hour, is now throwing up his ORT and all you can say is ‘burp him?’ I suddenly understood, in a detached sort of way, how it could make sense to carry a shotgun into an establishment and shoot everybody there.

The final straw was when the student doctor came to clerk us. We told him we were giving Raymond Nospamin but had recently changed to Dentinox. He was non-plussed. He didn’t know the leading drug for Colic Ache; he didn’t even appear to know what Colic Ache was. At that point we decided it was enough and asked to be discharged.

They then decided to produce oral versions of the drugs they had wanted to administer intravenously. I went berserk.  I thought I had asked if these drugs could be administered orally and they had said no? So the hour long torture of my 5 week old son was really quite needless? My mother in-law who had now arrived had to calm me down and urged me to make haste for a better hospital.

We drove to Osuntuyi Hospital at 9, Alhaji Salisu Street, Obanikoro, where Raymond was born. The moment they set eyes on him, they dropped what they were doing, called in two doctors and the resident paediatrician who wasn’t in her Sunday best, (thank God). They performed a full blood count and gave him a shot of a broad spectrum antibiotic. They asked for the diaper we had last taken off and sent it off to the lab while they went about setting up an IV line. But this time, there was no prodding and piercing. They studied all the possible sites and immediately went for a vein in the head. This was heart wrenching for us but they got the IV in with a minimum of fuss. From arrival to being hooked up to the IV: 20 minutes.

Raymond recovered after being intravenously rehydrated for four days. Apparently he was the victim of fake or adulterated Infant Formula as the test results came back implicating the milk we were feeding him. It was said to be severely contaminated.

There was a huge gulf in the quality of care we received in both hospitals. Whereas the medical staff at Duro Soleye were nonchalant and brusque, those at Osuntuyi were attentive and courteous. They knew how to prioritise events; for example if they were filling out paperwork and we came to say the room was too cold or the IV was nearly finished, they would stop mid-sentence and come and attend to us at once. At Duro Soleye, they wouldn’t even acknowledge your presence. I could have lost my son to this indifference. This same Duro Soleye is the same hospital that once mixed up my test results and said I had Tuberculosis when I had Malaria (entirely different story for another day).

Please can Duro Soleye Hospital change its approach to health care delivery before they do some irreparable damage?

My thoughts: 

There are so many things wrong with the above experience. It’s so disheartening that a father, mother, family had to go through this ordeal. For starters, it’s beyond pathetic that a trained medical practitioner would utter something like “with babies, getting a vein is trial and error”. Say what? That’s unacceptable! Especially in a field where human lives are at stake, let-alone the life of a little child. And then madam Sunday Best mentioned above. Are you kidding me? Are you really a Paediatrician? I’m just so confused and really wondering what could possibly be so important that you had to forsake your professional duty to save little-baby-lives. This is the kind of lackadaisical behaviour, among so many other things, that I think is killing Nigeria. After reading this review and the LUTH review I’m really concerned for the future of our hospitals…Duro Soleye Hospital, step up your game. This is too poor!

  1. This made my heart so sad. Thank God for baby Raymond’s life

  2. One of the few medical cases that end with a happy story. So many patients die due to non chalancy on the medical personnel’s part . We need a change. Its time to treat patients as humans and not animals, even animals are treated better . Its saddening

  3. Moving away from the hospitals and their problem, consider the fact that the baby was a victim of contaminated baby food . Why? What is NAFDAC doing ? Why are people so wicked as to produce such ? The immune system of a child is not so strong to fight of such. That is another thing we should tackle. Say NO To FAKE DRUGS!

  4. Please report this case to NAFDAC so that you, your loved ones and others are not victims of the adultrated formula. Thank God Raymond has recovered

  5. What a review dis is. love d way d writer compared d 2 hospitals. Have heard much abt Duro Soleye’s f-ups, but dis review strikes home in a way dat compeletely captivated me. very well written. Thank God for baby raymonds life

  6. how can a hospital behave this way and still have a license to operate? Nigeria sha…its so sad

  7. The writer is such a gentleman. there are too many points in the story where I would have slapped someone or worse. stupid hospital.

  8. Brilliant review. Dis Z10 na serious motivation o. Dis guy no know say e get gift of writing sha. See mind pictures wen d guy dey paint, e be like say I dey there as e dey happen. Kudos. hope Raymond reads dis one day.

  9. Thank God this ended well. I lost my friend in this Duro Soleye. The staff there had absolutely no sense of urgency as she bled to death. I could not believe my eyes at how uncaring they were.thank God dis fam had an option. my friend didn’t. unfortunately.

  10. Osuntuyi is in my ‘hood. Didn’t know they were so good. will check em out nex tym I need a hospital. gr8 review.

  11. This story is a true reflection on the state of most services in Nigeria: Healthcare, Education, Food, Pharmaceuticals, Water, Power etcetera etcetera. I’ve always wondered why the heart and mind of the average Nigerian is so evil. The writer’s ordeal at Duro Soleye is gross negligence and a very sorry case of MEDICAL MALPRACTICE. In saner climes, the QUACKSPITAL would have been made to pay Raymond’s family enough money to take care of his future Harvard University education or settled out of court because this is a case they’d never have won.

    We thank God for the professional medical staff at Osuntuyi for saving the life of this precious little boy. And for the makers of the fake baby food……. How far for una??? Killing babies just to get rich??? I stand corrected — but I still believe that Nigerians have got to rank amongst the top 10 wicked nations on earth.

    1. Efe G

      Very sad indeed. Hopefully we can use this medium to not only draw attention to all these awful shenanigans, but also let people know they’ve got options (in a lot of cases). I completely agree regarding the evil in people’s hearts. How do such companies/individuals go to bed knowing their products can potentially kill little babies? Too poor!

  12. Quite an ordeal for the parents of Raymond…
    Health care in Nigeria can be really frustrating.
    My experiences have actually revealed to me that practically all hospitals in this country have their “off-days”.
    My prayer always is for God’s favour any time I am taking my kids for treatment. It can be very annoying some times…

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