Tuen Mun Hospital is investigating a possible medical blunder after a 72-year-old woman died after being sent home with a misdiagnosed heart condition.
The woman, surnamed Tsui, had been discharged from the hospital after three hours of treatment for a suspected stomach ache, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
The cause of death was heart attack triggered by a coronary artery disease and acute myocardial infarction.
The woman was hospitalized on June 9 last year and was given an X-ray scan and painkillers after she complained of stomach pain before being told to go home.
Family members accused the hospital of misdiagnosing her condition and demanded a thorough investigation.
Tony Ko Pat-sing, chief executive of the Hospital Authority New Territories West Cluster, said there is no evidence of negligence by the medical staff but added the treatment process will be investigated and the results shared with Tsui’s family.
Dr. Liu Shao-haei, Hospital Authority quality and safety division deputizing director, said the diagnosis had been by the book although the woman’s high blood pressure was a concern.
However, a cardiologist said it is not uncommon to mistake stomach pain with angina pectoris, which occurs in the same chest area.
The incident could have been prevented if the hospital had taken the time to take precautionary measures with blood pressure pills and a blood test for cardiac enzyme levels, he said.
He said an electrocardiography and a 24-hour confinement would be best in the event of a suspected heart disease.
Earlier, an elderly man had gone to the same hospital for consultation but doctors missed symptoms from a flesh-eating bacteria. The man later died of the disease.
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