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Commotion Occurs in Hospital over missing placenta

The father of a newborn baby, Kayode Alatise, caused a stir at the Otunba Tunwase National Paediatric Centre, Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State, on Wednesday over the alleged “disappearance” of his baby’s placenta.

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Alatise alleged that the hospital management told him on Monday when his wife, Falilat, delivered their first baby that the placenta was missing.

He caused commotion as he threatened doctors and nurses at the centre located along the Sagamu-Benin Expressway.

The father of the baby insisted that neither him nor his wife was given the baby’s placenta, adding he rejected the placenta the hospital later attempted to return to him because he was not sure it was actually his baby’s own.

He said, “We were referred to this hospital, and when we got here they demanded N230,000 for caesarian section. I was told that if I did not pay N50,000 deposit, they would not commence surgery. I begged them that night, but they said they would not do the operation until I paid. Before I got the money, it was already 8am.

“After the operation, my wife asked me if I had collected the placenta, but I told her no. The nurses and the ward security now came to tell me that they saw me when I went to the surgery room to take the placenta.

“After I  reported the matter to the police, they now called me to say that they had found the placenta. But how am I sure that that is my baby’s placenta.  They told me on Monday that the placenta had got lost.”

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The Deputy Medical Director and Consultant Gynaecologist/Obstetrician, Dr. Oladayo Ogunlaja, who took delivery of the baby, denied the allegation that any placenta got missing.

Ogunlaja said the placenta was only mistakenly taken into the hospital’s laundry by the cleaning attendant who cleared out the Operating Room after Alatise’s wife was delivered of the baby.

He added that if Alatise was not sure that the placenta given to him was his baby’s, he could do a scientific test to prove its genuineness.

He said, “The patient was actually a referred patient. She was referred from the State Hospital, Ijebu Ode, on Monday around 3am. She had been in labour, probably at a traditional birth attendant centre, and she was referred to the state hospital from where she was referred here.

“On getting here, she didn’t have money and there was no blood. Because of that, we could not do the surgery. We only admitted and stabilised her.

“By 8am, we eventually had the caesarian section. The mother was fine and the baby was fine. The practice here is that placenta should be handed over to the mother or father, but there was a mix-up. The father did not request for it and the attendant that cleaned the rtoom saw the nylon bag and took it down to the laundry.

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“Around 7pm yesterday (Tuesday), that was over 36 hours after, they now requested for the placenta and it became an issue. We started calling the workers that were involved. We had delivered close to a thousand babies here and we have never had such an issue. So, we started searching.

“Fortunately this morning, we went to the laundry and lo and behold we saw the nylon bag with the decomposing placenta still fresh with the blood. As soon as we found it, we called the people involved and we gave it to them.  It was the Chief Nursing Officer that gave the placenta back and I think he should be happy that the placenta has been given to him.

“If he is not sure that that is his baby’s placenta, the Lagos University Teaching Hospital has just built a new diagnostic centre where it can be tested. They can take it there. But I am sure that is the placenta of the baby because all those babies that were delivered before and after that period, their placentas were given to their parents.”

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