Date
24 May 2017
United Christian's Dr. Chui Tak-yi and Dr. Kung Kam-ngai (left photo) apologize to the family of the patient. Tang Kwai-sze's daughter Michelle said they were not told about the situation until they inquired. Photos: RTHK, HKEJ
United Christian's Dr. Chui Tak-yi and Dr. Kung Kam-ngai (left photo) apologize to the family of the patient. Tang Kwai-sze's daughter Michelle said they were not told about the situation until they inquired. Photos: RTHK, HKEJ

Medical blunder revealed in liver transplant patient’s treatment

A 43-year-old woman is in critical condition in Queen Mary Hospital after a medical blunder, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.

Tang Kwai-sze suffered acute liver failure as a result of the mistake by specialist doctors at the United Christian Hospital where she had been treated before she underwent two liver transplant procedures at Queen Mary Hospital, according to the report.

United Christian Hospital chief Dr. Chui Tak-yi said the hospital found out about the doctors’ negligence after looking into Tang’s medical records on April 6.

Tang’s family was not told until April 19 when they asked about her condition.

Tang’s daughter Michelle was unable to donate her liver because she is under 18. Another donor stepped up.

Doctors treating Tang’s kidney condition at United Christian failed to observe that Tang is a Hepatitis B carrier and that they should have prescribed her with the anti-viral drug Entecavir in addition to the high steroid-content drug Prednisolone as a precaution.

The blunder is thought to have led to liver failure last month.

Chui said there is no conclusion as to whether the lack of the prescription directly led to Tang’s liver failure but added that there was a “lack of communication” between the hospital and Tang’s family.

He said the hospital has set up an investigation panel to look into the events.

Dr. Kung Kam-ngai, chief of the department of medicine and geriatrics, said the treatment for Tang’s illness was standard procedure and that the doctors had provided suitable medical information about the treatment to Tang.

However, he did not say why the medical records of the patient’s Hepatitis B in 2008 had been twice overlooked by the two doctors who both have over 10 years of experience.

Chui and Kung apologised to the patient and her family on behalf of the hospital on Tuesday.

Secretary for Food and Health Ko Wing-man said he learned about the incident over the weekend but had no knowledge of the details until the hospital called a press conference on Tuesday.

Tang relies on machines to maintain her oxygen intake as her lungs are not functioning properly.

Her daughter Michelle told reporters that United Christian made no effort to communicate with her family after discovering the blunder on April 6 and waited till she made an inquiry on April 19.

When asked if she accepted the hospital’s apology, Michelle answered: “What if I apologise to them 100 times, would they be able to give me back a healthy mother?”

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EL/AC/RA

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