Date
21 January 2017
The Department of Health has ordered Union Hospital to file a detailed report on the incident within four weeks. Photo: HKEJ
The Department of Health has ordered Union Hospital to file a detailed report on the incident within four weeks. Photo: HKEJ

Hospital to file report after minor surgery nearly kills patient

A 25-year-old patient is in critical condition after undergoing a low-risk surgery at Union Hospital in Sha Tin, Apple Daily reports.

The hospital said the man’s heart suddenly stopped beating during an ankle arthroscopy being performed by two of its visiting doctors March 2.

Signs of life resumed after emergency aid and a cardiotonic injection.

The patient was later transferred to the intensive care unit of Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Kowloon, where he remains in critical condition.

Union Hospital said it is investigating the incident. Checks on instruments used in the surgery showed they functioned smoothly, it said.

The Department of Health confirmed it received a report of the incident from the hospital on March 4 and has sent staff to the hospital to follow up with the case.

Preliminary inspections suggest there was no breach of code of practice in terms of staffing or equipment, the department said.

It ordered the hospital to file a detailed report within four weeks.

Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said Sunday that the department did not reveal the incident to the public before the media made inquiries about it because it needed to obtain important medical data from the hospital first.

Dr. Chan Hon-yee, director of the department, said it would disclose such an incident only when it considered it would have a major impact on public health. She said there are risks to any operation.

Dr. Yung Shu-hang, a consultant in the department of orthopedics and traumatology at Prince of Wales Hospital, said he suspected the incident was likely to be related to either a latent disease of the patient or issues with anesthesia, as ankle arthroscopy is itself a safe procedure.

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