256 Units of Blood received from voluntary donors
32 victims of yesterday’s Train-Bus accident that happened at the PWD – Shogunle axis of Ikeja in Lagos State have been discharged from three State public health facilities after quality medical care and management, the State Commissioner for Health, Prof. Akin Abayomi has said.
Speaking today at a news briefing to give update and situation report of the incident, Abayomi explained that 19 of the 102 accident victims were discharged from the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH); five from Accident and Emergency Centre at the Toll Gate and eight from the Orile-Agege General Hospital.
He disclosed that LASUTH received additional 17 victims of the accident yesterday after the initial 85 that was recorded, bringing the total number of injured persons associated with the accident to 102. Abayomi noted that the fatality figure remained at 6 with no other death recorded from 12.00noon yesterday till 12.00noon when the update briefing was held.
The commissioner adduce the low casualty figure recorded to the effective triage strategy that was put in place and carried out first by the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) and the Lagos State Ambulance Service (LASAMBUS) and secondly by the management of LASUTH.
In his words: “What we have recorded here in the hospital (LASUTH), is 102 injured persons associated with the train-bus accident, we believe most of these would have been inside the bus, but because the bus was carried for a long distance by the train, we also aware that there were persons that were injured outside of the bus. So, this is probably responsible for the higher number of persons that were brought to LASUTH for treatment.
“It is a bit too early to really get full details from most of the passengers or injured persons because a lot of them are in pain due to the moderate and severe injuries, so it is not a time to over stress them, but as they get better, we are going to collect more information from them”.
“At the moment, we have discharged 19 passengers from LASUTH, and I’m also aware that at the other hospitals where patient who have moderate to mild injuries were referred to, many of them are being prepared for discharge this morning, and the information I have now is that, at the Toll Gate Accident and Emergency Centre, they are about to discharge five in addition to the 19 that were discharged here in LASUTH and also at Orile-Agege General Hospital where we sent 10 passengers, we are about to discharge eight”, Abayomi noted.
The Commissioner who noted that he has also visited patients transferred to other government hospitals from LASUTH disclosed that all patients are stable and responding well to management adding that severe complications is very much unlikely as the patients have been settled to their respective wards.
He said: I visited patients that were referred out of LASUTH yesterday, most of them were at the Toll Gate Accident and Emergency Centre, Gbagada General Hospital, General Hospital Odan-Lagos and Orile-Agege General Hospital, they were very stable; one or two of them had severe injuries and will be kept for a bit longer but by and large they are all very stable and comfortable as of yesterday evening when we visited.
“It is important to note that from about 12 noon yesterday till now, we have not lost any other passenger from the accident. So the act of triage which is very important in saving lives, has helped in reducing the casualty of the bus accident. We are not expecting any more severe complications from any one that has been triaged and settled down at respective wards or those that have been referred to other hospitals”.
Abayomi disclosed that 40 units of blood were transfused to stabilize patients who require blood transfusion adding that the Lagos State Blood Transfusion Service (LSBTS) was able to collect 256 units of blood from voluntary donors who heeded the call for blood donation for victims of the accident.
“In terms of blood access, yesterday and early this morning, we were able to transfuse 40 units of blood to the victims to stabilize them, those that require blood because they are either going in for surgery or they were bleeding into their brain, chest or abdomen, we were able to save their lives with rapid access and availability safe blood.
“We say a very big thank you to citizens of Lagos who responded in a very unusual way. Yesterday, we were able to collect 256 voluntary units of blood from sympathizers and well-wishers and we are really grateful to the public for responding in this way. In case we have more needs for blood, you can see that on top of the blood we have in our blood banks, we are able to replenish our stock from the generous response from the community”, he said.
The Commissioner while noting that the well-coordinated responses of appropriate agencies of government has resulted in commendable efforts which ought to be applauded, thanked all those involved in the life saving act which he said has once again shown the resolve and resilient spirit of Lagos State and its people.
“Our deepest appreciation to the management of LASUTH who performed incredibly well under very difficult circumstances with the sudden arrival of large numbers of extremely injured persons, with the type of injuries that can cause death if not managed in a properly triage environment with a large number of specialists around.
“I’d like to thank LASAMBUS who were really at the scene demonstrating the swiftness of pre-hospital management which is just as important as hospital management. With its new medical intensive care unit (MICU) ambulances, they were able to arrive at the scene very quickly and discharge patients to our premier university teaching hospital, LASUTH, for second level triage.
“And of course to LASEMA who are always the first to respond at the scene when there is mass casualty to secure the environment to allow medical personnel arrive at the scene and extract the patient easily, start first aid, triage and move the prioritize patients to the hospital in a manner that can save lives.
“And the Lagos State blood transfusion service who are available to provide enough blood for us to do the work we had to do to save most of these patients. And generally, every member of the Lagos State Government involved in this rescue operation that has seen Lagos State reduce significantly the possibility of much higher casualty rate from a very ghastly accident.
“We would like to thank everybody including the public, for their support; those that came to give blood and offer all kind of services, it was indeed a show of solidarity of Lagosians to a very significant accident”, he said.
Also speaking, the Lagos State Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola acknowledged that the Lagos State Staff Bus involved in the accident was full to the acceptable capacity because staff opted for the bus which is free of charge as opposed to plying commercial transportation because of the present cash crunch situation in the country.
In his words: “The passenger capacity of the bus is 85; sitting capacity of about 45 and standing capacity of 40 passengers. The bus was full to capacity because quite a number of people due to the cash crunch situation opted to go with the bus which was free of charge as opposed to plying commercial transportation. Yes indeed, the bus was moving at full capacity”.
Muri-Okunola noted that the driver of the bus is still in police custody assisting with investigation with regards to the cause of the accident. He disclosed the medical and mental state of the driver while driving has also been taken into consideration, noting that the result will form part of that investigative report.
“With regards to the driver, as Mr. Governor mentioned yesterday, he is currently with the police under investigation, his state of medical and mental fitness while driving has also been taken into consideration, which will form part of that investigative report. It is in the preliminary stage now, so I will not be able to speak to that but driver education is paramount in ferrying our civilians and our staff from point A to point B.
“We have a drivers institute that our drivers go to periodically to upscale their skills and I think it is a bit unfortunate to generalize that drivers of government vehicles are lawless or ply the road unlawfully, contrary to that, I think they have a bit more consideration in terms of road-user consideration.
“And in this case, I am surprised that this accident happened but that is what accident are in my opinion. Until we find what the preliminary causes are, it will be premature to lay a blame. I’m sure driver error as alluded to by Mr. Governor was primarily responsible, but since that driver is still undergoing investigation, it will be preliminary for me to prejudice the investigation with any further information”, he said.
The briefing also had in attendance the Chief Medical Director of LASUTH, Prof. Adetokunbo Fabamwo; the Director Clinical Service and Training, Prof. Adebowale Adekoya, Member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Akeem Sokunle and other Lagos State top government functionaries.