On April 28, 2018, then 34-year-old publisher Mohammed Mustapha said his marital vows to his 30-year-old sweetheart Akua Nyarko Osei Bonsu.
The famous vow “till death do us part” is always at the back of the mind of many couples who may well not know that it traces its roots to the Roman Empire of the first century.
“That we will have a life full of happiness,” Mustapha’s response when I asked him about the thoughts on his mind on that memorable occasion when he was joined by friends and family.
His mates from the Commonwealth Hall known as Vandals certainly made the occasion special. But it now seems like a memory that will forever bring sadness than joy.
His dream, like many young men who boldly take a partner, is to have children by a beautiful intelligent wife, raise them to be better citizens, and enjoy the many years ahead. This vow means; a simple quest to resolve differences daily and strive to be better partners.
Sometime in July of 2019, the couple had become a regular feature at the Greater Accra Regional Hospital. The now 31-year-old nurse who was about 12 weeks pregnant went to the Hospital as part of preparations to welcome the first fruit of their fledgeling bond.
On December 13, the two received bad news; the pregnant wife had been diagnosed with severe intrauterine growth restriction (IUGR) with an abnormal umbilical artery Doppler a condition doctors said pointed to placental insufficiency.
An emergency caesarean section was scheduled and conducted on December 16 to save the baby. This did not happen and within 24 hours the young publisher received another bad news.
“Thromboembolism” is what he was told his wife had developed. Dictionary.com defines this condition as “occlusion of a blood vessel by an embolus that has broken away from a thrombus”.
Sounds circular right? In simple terms, Mustapha lost his wife in a manner that has left him asking questions from the Attorney General’s Office, the Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service and the Greater Accra Regional Hospital.
While stating that he has suffered enormously from the loss of his late wife in such a traumatising manner due to what he calls lack of professionalism on the part of medical officers, he believes a ¢5 million compensation will serve as a deterrent to medical officers not to be negligent.
The following are some of the allegations Mustapha makes in his writ filed on his behalf by Reindorf Twumasi Ankrah of AB & M legal consult
“Although the 4th Defendant’s own protocols or standard practice demands that every patient who undergoes CS, is given a prophylactic anticoagulant therapy (PAT) after 12 hours of the CS, the 4th Defendant did not even include this therapy in the management plan of the deceased.
The 4th Defendant (Greater Accra Regional Hospital), in fact, did not administer any prophylactic anticoagulant therapy notwithstanding that it was aware that the deceased was susceptible to pulmonary thromboembolism, by reason of her weight, condition and the surgery,” .
A medical report submitted to Mustapha by the Hospital’s administration on February 26 states.
“In summary, the medical team took the right decision to perform the caesarean section even though the baby did not survive on account of prematurity and severe IUGR.
“The development of a thromboembolic phenomenon within 24 hours after the caesarean section was unfortunate. The protocol of the department is to administer prophylactic anticoagulant therapy after 12 hours of cesarean section.
“Unfortunately, the Husband did not procure the said medication even though it was prescribed before surgery. Even after surgery, the staff impressed upon him to procure the drug but he failed to procure the medication until the unfortunate thromboembolic complication happened.
“A review of the management processes of the team on duty when the woman experienced the sudden onset of breathlessness showed appropriate steps.”
This is how Mustapha responds to this in his affidavit in court
“I also noticed that in page 3, paragraph 6, it was also included that a sub-cut FRAGMIN with other medications was prescribed but the sub-cut Fragmin was not bought.
“From my observation, I realized the hospital implicated me the husband of not procuring the drug that I earlier discussed with Dr. Pobee and Dr. Srefenyo which in itself was a lie because I wasn’t around when the drugs were initially procured and paid for.
“Upon checking from her records, I realised in receipt No. R2516077 which was procured on the 13-12-19 at 6:50 pm, the drug Fragmin which was mentioned in their report to have been prescribed but not bought was duly bought and paid for but was not administered.
“Interestingly, the whole medical report had the word husband mentioned four times; an indication the hospital after realizing their mistake decided to implicate me to cover up.
My inquiry with the records of the hospital after she was operated on till her demise, indicated there was nowhere or whatsoever that a drug named Fragmin was even recommended to be administered. Also when it was detected of her sudden desaturation, she was administered with a drug called Clexane to revert the condition and my checks also proved that Clexane just like Fragmin is an anticoagulant which only prevents coagulations but can’t revert blood clots that has already formed.
“The said drug is an NHIS covered medication, which my wife was a beneficiary. So I wondered why it was not procured and administered 12 hours after C/S as the protocol of the hospital demands”.
“After her demise, I was made to pay an amount of ¢1,375.30 as the cost incurred for her admission, so I want to know if the administering of prophylactic anticoagulant therapy is the protocol of the department, why was the drug not procured and added to her bill just as other drugs were procured to be paid later.”
Mustapha ends his interview saying, “This case is very dear to me and many who share my pain but have been left to their fate. So I hope this bold step would be given every attention so that we curb maternal mortality or at least reduce it to some extent”.