Doctor Slumps, Dies After Long Stressful Call Hours Without Break At LUTH

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A medical doctor at the Lagos University Teaching Hospital (LUTH), Idi-Araba, Umoh Michael has been confirmed dead after performing a 72-hour surgery without break at the neurosurgery unit.

The Herald understands that Umoh Michael was said to have been on call for the duration before arriving home on Sunday, September 17 for church service, and slumped in his worship centre (United Evangelical Church) at about 11:00 a.m.

As seen in a letter written by the Association of Resident Doctors dated September 19 and addressed to LUTH’s chief medical director, the doctors accused their senior colleagues of bullying, giving them stressful call hours without breaks, and not providing feeding and good accommodation.

The letter titled, ‘An Appeal By The House Officers Of LUTH’ stated, “We the house officers are in deep grief over the loss of our colleague, a co-House officer (Dr Umoh Michael) who died on 17th September, 2023, after having a 72hrs call in Neurosurgery Unit. He is said to have been on call 72hrs before arriving home on Sunday morning to get set for church service, reaching his worship center (United Evangelical Church) where he slumped in the church at about 11am.”

The protest letter added, “His roommate attested to the fact that Umoh Michael has barely slept in their apartment over the past one week as he was always on call or the day he returns home is around 3am after surgeries and other activities in Neurosurgery Unit.”

The letter pointed out that the doctors “have long-standing challenges since we resumed house-manship here and one most striking challenge is the bullying we received from our senior colleagues, stressful call hours without breaks in between, no call food, no good accommodation.”

They demanded that “house officers who did call the previous day, should be allowed either half day the next day or allowed to resume work by midday the following day” and that “house officers should not be made to work 48hrs at stretch.”

“The compulsory House check at the beginning of the House job should be free or grossly subsidized for House officers. Our senior colleagues (senior registers and registrars) should make the work environmentally friendly for us; House officers should not do work of potters, nurses or patient relatives,” added the letter.

The teaching hospital did not immediately respond to Peoples Gazette’s request for comment on the matters raised by the doctors.

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