Police have launched an investigation into the death of a mentally handicapped resident of a nursing home after an antiseptic gauze and other foreign objects were found in his anus.
The 60-year-old man, surnamed Wong, died two days after being admitted to the United Christian Hospital (UCH) in Kwun Tong for pnemonia and other symptoms in January, Apple Daily reports.
Cambridge Nursing Home, where Wong had been a long-time resident, denied there was any abuse of residents by its staff, and suggested that Wong had had an intestinal surgery at the UCH last year.
The hospital, however, said it had not performed any surgery on Wong, adding that the case is now being investigated by the police’s regional crime unit.
According to Wong’s brother, Wong became mentally handicapped at the age of five after a serious fever, and had had a stroke in 2007 that paralyzed his lower body.
Wong could not look after himself and even had difficulty touching his own face, the brother said.
Wong subsequently moved into Cambridge Nursing Home on Ting Yip Street in Ngau Tau Kok.
On Jan. 31, Wong was taken to the UCH because of diarrhea and was later diagnosed with pneumonia.
Hospital staff found foreign objects such as gauze, diaper tape and cotton in Wong’s anus during a checkup.
Wong’s family members, after being informed of the hospital staff’s discovery, reported the case to the police on Feb. 1, suspecting that he might have been abused.
Wong passed away on Feb. 2.
Police sources said several pieces of rolled-up gauze, each a few inches long, were found deep inside Wong’s anus.
However, initial investigation showed that the gauze was not the cause of death.
The Cambridge Nursing Home said Wong had been living in good conditions at the center for the past 10 years.
The nursing home’s management said the foreign objects were found more than 10 hours after Wong was taken to the UCH, and that the nursing home’s staff “do not possess the techniques to stuff any objects inside a person’s anus”.
The case has been passed on to the Coroner’s Court.
Secretary for Labour and Welfare Matthew Cheung Kin-chung said the Social Welfare Department (SWD) will follow up on the case and provide any assistance to the investigators.
The SWD said so far no violations were seen in the operation of the nursing home, which opened in December 2014.
Last year, photos of elderly residents being made to wait naked for their bath at Cambridge Nursing Home in Tai Po triggered a public outcry.
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