Hong Kong people are praying for a one-year-old baby girl who has slipped into a coma and is fighting for her life after she underwent an operation at a local hospital last Friday.
The baby, known as Yu-yan, underwent surgery at the Queen Mary Hospital after she was found to have congenital bile duct obstruction.
On Dec. 8, one day before the first anniversary of her birth, she received an operation to connect her bile duct to the intestine to alleviate the obstruction.
After the medical procedure was completed, the surgeon and the anesthetist involved in the operation conducted an assessment and decided that the baby could be moved to a general ward for subsequent monitoring.
They decided to place the baby in the general ward as they found her vital signs stable.
Three hours later, however, the baby’s face turned black and she was struggling to breathe, the Hong Kong Economic Journal reports.
The nurse who took care of the baby at first thought the problem lay in the monitoring instruments, and had them replaced before a house officer was called to assist.
After an initial assessment, the house officer called for assistance from a doctor of the hospital’s pediatric intensive care unit. The baby was found to have no heartbeat and no breath.
After emergency treatment, the girl resumed her heartbeat and started breathing but remained unconscious, according to information provided by a hospital spokesman on Tuesday.
As of now, she is still unconscious and in critical condition.
The hospital said it has decided to perform a Magnetic Resonance Imaging scan on her brain next Wednesday before it devises an appropriate treatment plan.
It claimed that it has notified the Hospital Authority about the case as required through the Advance Incident Reporting System, and that it also formed an interdepartmental task force to investigate what had really happened.
The baby’s father said he had planned to celebrate his daughter’s first birthday, but all his plans were dashed following the hospital incident.
He is feeling miserable, he said, while calling the hospital’s explanation about initial suspicions of broken monitoring instruments as totally absurd.
As the baby girl battles for her life, a Facebook page was created to offer support to the distraught family. Thousands of netizens left messages on the social platform, saying they are praying for the baby girl and hoping that she will recover soon.
According to reports, the baby’s family had agreed to the operation after being told that about 30 percent of patients with bile duct obstruction can be cured with no need to undergo a liver transplant.
A senior pediatrician at a public hospital said an operation like this usually required the patient to be put into ICU afterwards.
The expert said he fears that even if the baby recovers, she may suffer some long-lasting damage to her mental faculties.
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