Date
24 October 2017
The Queen Mary Hospital nurse remained at the Intensive Care Unit after passing out while on night duty. Photo: HKEJ
The Queen Mary Hospital nurse remained at the Intensive Care Unit after passing out while on night duty. Photo: HKEJ

Nurse, 30 weeks pregnant, collapses during night shift

A nurse at Queen Mary Hospital, who was 30 weeks pregnant, passed out while on night duty, adding urgency to a petition for hospital staff in such a condition to be exempted from doing the late shift, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reported on Monday, citing a post on a Facebook page for the hospital’s medical staff.

The Association of Hong Kong Nursing Staff (AHKNS) said the nurse did not seek help from the group.

AHKNS chairman Joseph Lee Kok-long said there have been at least three cases of pregnant nurses feeling unwell while on night duty.

The association said as early as 2014, it has asked the Hospital Authority (HA) to increase manpower in order to relieve nurses who are at least 28 weeks pregnant from night shifts.

The authority has not taken any action on the petition, the AHKNS said, adding that it will write to HA chief executive Leung Pak-yin again to remind him of the petition.

Lee said some clusters have arranged for staff to help out pregnant nurses on night shifts.

The nurse who passed out had to be resuscitated at the Intensive Care Unit with symptoms of haemorrhage.

Both the nurse and the fetus were in stable conditions after treatment, although the nurse had to remain at the ICU, according to Apple Daily.

While the HA said that it is inappropriate to openly discuss the health conditions of its staff, many nursing staff have expressed concern and sympathy over the heavy work burden their pregnant colleagues have to endure.

However, there were nurses who say it would be unfair if pregnant staff were exempted from night shifts.

The HA said individual hospitals are allowing nurses who are at least 28 weeks pregnant to be limited to day shifts.

It has formed a task force to look into the possibility of exempting nurses who are 32 weeks pregnant from night duty.

At present, nurses who take more than one night shift in a seven-day period are given additional allowance.

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EL/AC/CG

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