Post-op death to be examined

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 22 July, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 22 July, 2007, 12:00am

The Princess Margaret Hospital will set up an independent panel to investigate the death of a 74-year-old woman a day after an operation to fix a broken leg bone.

But the hospital denied any negligence and said no staff would need to be disciplined.

The patient, surnamed Chan, was admitted to the hospital in Kwai Chung on July 3 with diabetes.

She slipped from her bed and broke her femur on Thursday. The following day, she had an operation on the fracture, and her condition was stable afterwards.

But yesterday morning, her condition suddenly deteriorated and she died at about 11am.

'The hospital killed my mum,' the patient's daughter cried, before collapsing in a corridor.

The family said the patient had breathing difficulties early in the morning and they requested a doctor. They claimed nurses told them only an X-ray would be arranged.

The hospital's chief executive, Lily Chiu Lei-lei, later met the family and expressed regret, but denied there had been any wrongdoing.

Dr Chiu said the independent panel was expected to submit a report in a few weeks' time.

'I don't think there's a need to suspend any staff. It was an incident that the patient's condition deteriorated suddenly, not about any negligence by the medical staff,' she said.

She said doctors went to treat the patient immediately her condition worsened. She acknowledged the hospital was responsible for the patient's fall.