NewsHong Kong

Hospital Authority probes man's death after medication is stopped

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 May, 2014, 6:40pm
UPDATED : Monday, 05 May, 2014, 4:18am

The death of a Caritas Medical Centre patient may have been caused by hospitals' miscommunication or problems in the medical record system, the Hospital Authority chief says.

An investigation is under way into the death of the 59-year-old patient whose coronary artery was found to be blocked on Wednesday. He died that day.

The hospital in Sham Shui Po then realised that his doctors had not given him any antiplatelet drugs - which help blood to circulate in clogged arteries - for more than a month.

The man suffered from diabetes and serious coronary disease and had had regular follow-up at the hospital's medicine and geriatric specialist outpatient clinic.

He underwent angioplasty at Grantham Hospital in Aberdeen in February and was later prescribed an antiplatelet drug. He returned to Caritas for follow-up in March and last month.

"Perhaps there were problems in communication when the patient had procedures done in a hospital and then went to another hospital afterwards," Hospital Authority chief executive Dr Leung Pak-yin said.

There could also have been problems that prevented doctors from accessing the patient's records on the authority's medical record system, he said.

The authority would submit a report on its findings in eight weeks, Leung said.

The patient was found unconscious on Wednesday and admitted to Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung. His coronary artery blood flow was restored after an emergency angioplasty, but his condition deteriorated. He died that afternoon.

The man's medical records showed that the antiplatelet drug had not been included in his prescription since March 11.


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