Patient aide sues over back injury

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 08 August, 1999, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 08 August, 1999, 12:00am

A HEALTH-CARE assistant who wrenched her back while lifting a 'bulky and unwieldy' patient is suing the Hospital Authority for unspecified damages.

The patient, who weighed about 77kg, was 'equivalent to a dead weight', a High Court writ says.

Fan Yung-yu, 48, was one of two health-care assistants trying to lift the patient from a chair to her bed at Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital, Chai Wan, on March 16, 1997.

The writ states the patient was in danger of toppling over and in order to save her, Ms Fan wrenched her back.

She was taken to the accident and emergency department for treatment.

She has suffered 'continuous' back pain except when sleeping and experienced weakness in her left leg.

'She has to abstain from sexual activities and to take a rest of 10 to 15 minutes every two to three hours,' the writ says.

The Hospital Authority was accused of 'repeatedly requiring the plaintiff to lift heavy patients' at work.

It 'knew or ought reasonably to have foreseen that to do so would impose an undue strain upon her back'.