200 blood samples left in office

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 10 December, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 10 December, 2008, 12:00am

More than 200 blood samples taken from patients for testing at Prince of Wales Hospital were left in an office over the weekend without being sent to the laboratory, meaning the 99 patients from whom they were taken will have to have blood drawn again.

A hospital spokesman said 221 blood specimens taken on Friday at the hospital's Li Ka Shing Specialist Out-patient Clinic were found yesterday on a trolley and had not been taken to the laboratory.

The staff member responsible for delivering the trolley to the laboratory had failed to do so, and the trolley had been locked up in a foreman's office over the weekend, he said.

None of the samples required urgent handling, the spokesman said, and the hospital had verified that no blood samples had been lost.

The hospital would contact the 97 out-patients and two in-patients over the next two days to arrange for the drawing of new blood samples, the spokesman said.

The hospital said it would investigate the incident and review its procedures.

It would take appropriate action with the staff member according to human resources procedures if human error was found to be involved.

It apologised for the inconvenience caused.

In an earlier medical fault involving blood in July, a premature newborn boy was given a transfusion of the wrong type of blood at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. The incident prompted the hospital to set up an investigation team.