Amin Kef Sesay: Sierra Leone Telegraph: 26 February 2022:
Florence Charley – wife of the late Assistant Inspector General of Sierra Leone’s police Joseph Pizarro Christian Charley (popularly known as AIG Chris Charley), is suing the Minister of Health and Sanitation, the Medical Superintendent (Officer In Charge) of 34 Military Hospital, and the Attorney General & Minister of Justice at the High Court of Sierra Leone for alleged medical negligence causing the death of the late Joseph Pizarro Christian Charley.
According to court papers, Joseph Pizarro Christian Charley was taken to the 34 Government Hospital on 10th June 2020, after complaining of weakness, loss of taste, smell, coughing and shortness of breath. He was taken to 34-Military Hospital because it was a designated COVID-19 hospital.
Mrs Charley’s legal team are arguing that the deceased did not receive proper care in the hands of the medical personnel at the 34-Military Hospital, due to the lack of necessary medical equipment/facilities and inefficient or poor monitoring of the deceased’s oxygen saturation level which caused his brain to be starved of oxygen.
Also, that the deceased was negligently attended to by the medical personnel at the 34 Government Military Hospital which precipitated his death less than 48 hours of admission at the hospital. The deceased was admitted in the isolation unit of the hospital where he was placed on oxygen. His oxygen saturation was eighty-four percent but declined to seventy-seven percent.
The court papers also state that the broad-spectrum antibiotics of Azithromycin and Ceftriaxone were administered to the deceased shortly after he was admitted.
Mrs Charley’s legal team alleges that the isolation ward had oxygen concentrators, but no oxygen cylinder. The concentrators, they said did not deliver adequate oxygen; and that the deceased’s relative, Dr. Foday Morovia obtained another oxygen cylinder from Choithram’s hospital which increased the deceased’s oxygen from 77 to 84% but still below 90%. (Photo: AIG Charley).
Lawyers also claim that Dr. Morovia enquired several times whether the doctors or the nurses had High Flow Oxygen or a Bipap Machine but their response was in the negative.
Dr. Monrovia, based on what the lawyers said, left the hospital but received a call from the deceased at 5am on 11th June 2020, complaining that the oxygen cylinder that he had brought from Choithram’s hospital was empty as there was no air coming out of the cylinder.
Dr Morovia said he called the duty doctor to make arrangement for another oxygen canister since the oxygen concentrator was not delivering enough oxygen into the deceased. The deceased was for several hours placed on the oxygen concentrator until the oxygen cylinder arrived. But when Dr. Morovia came back to the hospital – between 6 and 7am, he saw the deceased in worse respiratory distress.
Dr. Morovia then left to inquire about the result of the COVID test of the deceased which was taken the previous day. By the time Dr. Morovia came back, it was stated, the deceased had stopped breathing and lost consciousness. He was visibly gasping for air. Dr. Morovia and other doctors present, performed CPR to resuscitate the deceased, but without success.
Mrs Charley’s legal team are accusing the Defendants of failing in their duty of care towards the deceased through negligence and/or omissions of the medical personnel on duty at the time the deceased was admitted until his demise at the 34 Military Hospital.
They also claim that the estate of the deceased has in consequence suffered loss as a result of the negligent conduct of the Defendants, for which they are seeking redress in the courts.