Date
24 July 2017
Lee (inset), with his wife, remains at the intensive care unit of Queen Mary Hospital after his liver transplant was stopped. Photos: HKEJ, Metro Daily
Lee (inset), with his wife, remains at the intensive care unit of Queen Mary Hospital after his liver transplant was stopped. Photos: HKEJ, Metro Daily

Liver transplant patient semi-comatose after medical blunder

A male patient is in critical condition at the Queen Mary Hospital after his liver transplant surgery was halted halfway through last week when a tumor was discovered in the donor’s kidney, Metro Daily reported on Monday.

The 46-year-old patient, surnamed Lee, was diagnosed with cirrhosis and hepatic failure in January, and was told that a liver was available for transplant.

His wife said they were thrilled that an organ transplant could be done right away and gave their consent for the operation.

Lee’s surgery took place on Aug. 26 but it was stopped after the Prince of Wales Hospital found there was a tumor in the organ donor’s right kidney.

The doctors at Queen Mary Hospital decided to stop the surgery right in the middle of the procedure because of the likelihood that tumor could also develop in the donated liver, although the possibility of cancer growth is low.

The patient’s condition turned worse that night. He suffered from serious bleeding and plunged into a semi-comatose state that required his immediate resuscitation.

According to his wife, Lee’s liver and gall bladder had been separated before the surgery was discontinued.

Tests also showed that bacteria had infected the patient’s blood, and he had to undergo daily hemodialysis.

The wife said she is worried that her husband’s other organs might be affected as a result of the infection.

She admitted that she has lost her faith in the ability of doctors at Queen Mary Hospital to perform another operation on her husband.

Still, she is hoping that someone with “O+” blood type would consider donating a portion of their liver for her husband.

Doctors said the patient’s chance of survival could reach 70 percent following a successful liver transplant.

Dr. Albert Chan Chi-yan, a professor at the Department of Surgery of the University of Hong Kong, said the next 24 to 72 hours would be crucial for the patient, who he said needs a liver transplant within the week.

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EL/AC/CG

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