Saturday, 20 October 2018

Deadly Trends: Nigerians Now ‘Slumped And Died’ (A Must Read On The Causes)

There have been reported cases all year round of Nigerians who have ‘slumped and died’. These deaths are spread across different individuals of varying ages from 22 to 58 and in various walks of life. Daily Trust Saturday takes a look at the disturbing trend.

Fans of TV game show, ‘Weakest Link’ anchored by Anne Robinson are excited when the game reaches its climax at the sudden death level. The last two contenders compete to be the first to knock the other out of the game, by being the first to have the most correct answers to win the prize money.

While the winner goes home with the prize money and the loser leaves with nothing, they both walk away into the waiting arms and congratulations of friends and loved ones who commend them for reaching the end of the game. Sudden death in this game has nothing to do with the loss of life.

Many Nigerians would like for their experiences with sudden death to materialise literally as it does on the ‘Weakest Link.’ Sadly for many families, it has meant dealing with the expected loss of a loved one who unexpectedly slumped in the course of a physical activity, dying soon after.


For weeks, mainstream and social media across Nigeria were agog with news of the death of Mrs. Omamen Iyawe who slumped during a praise and worship session in church on March 4, 2018.

The 29-year-old mother of one died soon after. Photographs of her last moments with her eyes shut and her hands lifted up in prayers have been widely circulated with many describing the incidence as indeed a “glorious call to a higher place of praise and worship.”

Deji Tinubu grabbed his chest, screamed and then slumped while playing a football match on January 25. For friends of the 52-year-old who were also in the game, it would have been a welcome case if this sudden death were that of the game which did not include the loss of life but simply one team losing the game and the other winning.

Friends of Tinubu, who was an aide to the Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, told reporters that, “He was arguably the fittest in the cabinet. He always played the central role in sports activities organised for the exco – he would get us boots, jerseys and such stuff.

“When he grabbed his chest during the five-a-side game at the retreat, screamed and went down, I knew something terrible had happened. If he had simply slumped, that would be a different feeling.”

Despite the immediate attention he got from medical personnel who were present, Tinubu was confirmed dead at the General Hospital, Epe, where he was taken.

On May 30, Cross River State lawmaker Steven Ukpukpen slumped and died during an early morning workout. The lawmaker was said to have been rushed to a nearby Navy Clinic, but medical officials on duty said he was in a critical condition and therefore directed that he should be transferred to another hospital.

He was confirmed dead by medical officials in a private hospital where he was later taken to.

Dr. Iseko Iseko, a cardiovascular and internal medicine specialist at Limi Hospital, Abuja, who spoke generally on the matter, explained that there are two major reasons why a person slumps and dies. He said, “One is the problem with the heart and the second when there is a brain problem.”

Globally, cardiovascular disease accounts for almost 17 million deaths annually or 30% and is a leading cause of all global mortality.

In Nigeria and other developing countries, experts opine that it causes twice as many deaths as HIV, malaria and TB combined.

Rahul Mehra, in his research, ‘Global public health problem of sudden cardiac death,’ said, “an estimated 40-50% of all cardiovascular deaths are sudden cardiac deaths (SCDs) and about 80% of these are caused by ventricular tachyarrhythmias (a condition in which the lower chambers of the heart (ventricles) beat very quickly).

Explaining further, Iseko said it is important for people to know their family’s medical history and to also have regular medical checkups, especially if the family has a history of the disease. He said, “The fact that someone is sitting or walking around and is active does not mean that he is healthy. Only a medical check up can ascertain that.

“Most of these cases are genetic, passed on from parents to their children. One should check if there are family issues of sudden death, cardiac disease, hypertension, diabetes, and such things.”

 Source:Daily Trust

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