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Lagos Hospital Elevator

In the heart of Lagos Island, tragedy struck at General Hospital Odan on August 1st, 2023, when a young and promising medical doctor, Dr. Vwaere Diaso, met her untimely demise in a horrifying elevator accident. The incident sent shockwaves through the medical community, raising pressing concerns about elevator safety within healthcare facilities. This comprehensive report delves into the harrowing incident, analyzes potential causes, and reflects on the profound impact it had on the hospital and its personnel.

The Incident:

The incident unfolded around 6.50 pm on that fateful day when Dr. Diaso stepped into the elevator on her way to receive a dispatch rider’s package outside the hospital. In a matter of seconds, the elevator lurched, plunging from the 10th floor to the ground level. The impact was devastating, causing severe injuries to Dr. Diaso and trapping her inside the wreckage.

Response and Rescue:

An hour elapsed before Dr. Diaso’s body could be extricated from the crushed elevator, raising concerns about the efficiency of the rescue operation. The delay was critical, as prompt medical attention may have altered the tragic outcome. Reports emerged that medical staff and emergency responders acted diligently but were hindered by the severity of the damage and lack of proper emergency protocols.

Impact on the Medical Community:

Dr. Diaso’s tragic death sent shockwaves through the medical community, sparking outrage and sorrow. The Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) in Lagos State declared an indefinite strike, emphasizing the need for improved safety standards and accountability in healthcare facilities.

Others outside the health community took to social media to express their grieve toward the incident, a tragedy that could have easily been avoided.

Rebuilding Trust and Safety Measures:

The incident prompted the Lagos State Government to take decisive actions, including the sacking and blacklisting of the facility managers. Additionally, the Lagos Safety Commission carried out an audit of elevators in public offices to ensure comprehensive safety arrangements. The authorities also instituted investigations into the elevator installer and maintenance contractors, seeking accountability and justice for the incident.

The elevator accident at General Hospital Odan was a heart-wrenching event that exposed critical vulnerabilities in healthcare facilities’ safety protocols.

Investigation has brought to light a longstanding issue with equipment management at the Hospital, particularly concerning the malfunctioning elevator. In 2020, the Medical Guild exposed a significant concern regarding the General Hospital in Lagos. They revealed that the hospital’s doctors’ quarters, spanning 10 floors, had an inoperative elevator and lacked running water.

This issue led to doctors, including pregnant women situated on the 10th floor, being forced to ascend the stairs multiple times daily. The matter was highlighted in a tweet by the Medical Guild (@MedicalGuild) on December 1, 2020. The post tagged relevant authorities, including @LSMOH, @ProfAkinAbayomi, @JokeSanwoolu, and @nmanigeria.

This history of neglect is evident, as the issue had previously been raised but remained unaddressed. Tragically, the consequences of this negligence became painfully clear when it resulted in the loss of a staff member’s life.

Dr. Vwaere Diaso’s tragic demise remains a stark reminder of the importance of regular maintenance, modern safety features, and effective communication to ensure the safety and well-being of medical personnel, patients, and visitors. It serves as a call to action for the medical community and the authorities to work together in creating a safer environment for everyone. May her memory serve as a catalyst for lasting change in elevator safety and beyond.

We will be conducting a follow-up report to gather the perspectives of safety professionals on the incident. Stay updated for their expert insights and proposed solutions to enhance elevator safety in healthcare facilities.

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