Hospital accused of negligence in diagnosis

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 13 March, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 13 March, 2012, 12:00am


The family of a 65-year-old hospital patient who died five days after admission for a digestive ailment last month has accused Tuen Mun Hospital of negligence in diagnosis and is demanding a full explanation.

The hospital says it is saddened by her death and has handed over the case for a coroner's inquest.

The woman, surnamed Tang, visited the hospital in August complaining of abdominal pain. The hospital diagnosed she had gallstones and advised surgery to remove her gall bladder, but she refused, said her daughter, who identified herself as Lam.

On February 15, Tang was admitted with abdominal pain. She was vomiting and could not urinate or defecate, Lam said.

She said the hospital prescribed painkiller injections while proposing Tang undergo gall bladder removal surgery. Tang acceded, and the hospital suggested several times that she return home to wait for the operation. She refused to leave as her pain showed no sign of subsiding.

Lam said her mother's situation worsened over the next five days, and she was found to have a duodenal ulcer with a 3cm hole. Emergency treatment failed to help and her mother died on February 20.

'We want to know what treatment had been provided since her admission. Why did doctors in surgical ward B4 keep pushing her out when she had suffered from abdominal pain for many days?' Lam said after meeting hospital management.

A hospital spokeswoman said Tang sought help with loin pain. A specialist consultation was arranged, and she visited the A&E ward and specialist outpatient clinics several times. The spokeswoman admitted there were inadequacies in the case.