11th July 2015, the day Kazeem Lawal, an official of the traffic management authority, went to work directing traffic in a Lagos suburb, was his last day on duty.
Reports say Kazeem slumped and colleagues tried to revive him by pounding his chest and pouring water on him, all to no avail before he was rushed to the hospital.
He did not survive the trip.
We are not told his age but one can infer he should be between 30 and 45.
What could be the immediate and remote causes of this young man’s death? Could it have been prevented? What can be done to prevent a further recurrence? let’s consider this under the following:
1. His health condition
2. Conditions at work
3. Resuscitation efforts.
There are some likely conditions that could have led to his death
1. Cardiac arrest: This is a common cause of sudden death where the heart suddenly stops beating due to irregularities.
2. Dehydration/ heat exhaustion: Guess this is self explanatory considering our harsh weather.
2. Hypoglycaemia: A low blood sugar could also lead to death.
3. Hyperglycaemia: This is high blood sugar, also a cause of death.
4. Myocardial infarction (heart attack): This is caused by reduced blood flow to the heart.
The conditions at work are also important; from the report some staff had just been sacked putting pressure on the few remaining.
Some questions arising
1. How long is the shift for an average LASTMA official, do they work all day? How frequently do they have off days?
2. How are LASTMA officials recruited? Is there any pre employment check to rule out such conditions?
3. Are all cadres registered in hospitals for care? Is there any provision for routine screening maybe on a 6monthly or yearly basis owing to the nature of their work?
Resuscitation: Are LASTMA officials being taught the basics of resuscitation at scenes of accidents? Should they be pounding their colleague’s chest and pouring water on him rather than doing the recommended cardiac compressions? Do they go for classes in resuscitation?
These are all important questions to be asked as they go a long way to prevent the next avoidable death.
Meanwhile I call on the amiable Lagos State Governor to order an autopsy to be done.
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