Doctor drained fluid from wrong lung

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 31 January, 2009, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 31 January, 2009, 12:00am

A doctor tried to drain fluid from the wrong side of a patient's chest, a report released by the Hospital Authority yesterday said.

The doctor was to drain fluid from the patient's left lung and the patient was moved to another bed while a nurse prepared equipment. The doctor inserted a needle into the right side and found no fluid. He then had to repeat the procedure on the other side. The patient remained in stable condition afterwards.

The authority said there was a failure to check the correct side of the patient prior to the procedure, and medical staff were advised to ascertain the correct side and verify they had the correct patient.

In its risk alert report, the authority said two pregnant women died after giving birth.

A mother who was 27 weeks pregnant suffered bleeding, and her condition worsened after her admission to hospital. Medical staff performed an emergency Caesarean section and massive blood loss was encountered. She later died of multiple organ failure.

Another woman, who was 37 weeks pregnant, died a week after giving birth to a healthy baby. She suffered bleeding in her brain and was unable to regain consciousness.

The authority advised medical staff to identify patients who were at high risk due to previous obstetric history. It said the patients' conditions had to be accessed in a timely and accurate manner, and medical teams had to respond rapidly.