Another medical blunder in a government hospital has come to light.
A tumor was found in the kidney of an organ donor after two of her organs were transplanted to other patients, Apple Daily reported Friday.
The donor, a 51-year-old female patient suffering from a serious stroke, was admitted to Prince of Wales Hospital Tuesday night and was certified brain dead.
Her family members agreed to have her kidneys, liver, heart and lungs donated, and a series of medical tests were done to ensure the organs were in good condition.
The organs were taken out of the patient’s body the next morning, and the heart, lungs and liver were immediately transferred to Queen Mary Hospital for three patients awaiting transplants.
On Wednesday afternoon, when doctors at Prince of Wales retrieved the donor’s kidneys, they found a tumor 1.5 cm in diameter in the right kidney.
Queen Mary was immediately informed, but the transplant surgeries involving the heart and lungs were already in progress.
The tumor was later confirmed to be cancerous.
Prince of Wales decided not to proceed with the kidney transplants already scheduled.
Meanwhile, Queen Mary decided to cancel the liver transplant.
The hospital said it would inform the two patients who received the heart and lung transplants and arrange the necessary inspections and follow-ups.
Overseas medical journals say the risk of organ recipients getting cancer from a donor who has a tumor between 1 cm and 2 cm in size is between 0.1 percent and 1 percent, which is classified as a low-risk occurrence.
Dr. Chau Ka-foon, former chairman of the Hong Kong Society of Transplantation, said the risk of the transplant recipients getting cancer is not high, as it was not the kidneys that were transplanted.
However, under normal circumstances, organs of a patient who has cancer will not be used for transplants, Chau said.
In another recent medical blunder, a 64-year-old man was misdiagnosed as having lung cancer after tests at the Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital.
He was then referred to Queen Mary Hospital, where he underwent an operation on Aug. 11.
Doctors removed part of the lower lobe of the man’s right lung.
Later, it was discovered that the removed tissues contained no cancer cells and that the patient was only suffering from tuberculosis.
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