Mother questions hospital's weekend staff policy

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 28 November, 2012, 12:00am
UPDATED : Wednesday, 28 November, 2012, 3:34am

A woman has lashed out at a public hospital after her three-year-old son died in December, three months after he was first admitted with pneumonia.

Princess Margaret Hospital in Kwai Chung exposed the child, Li Sze-miu, to a viral infection in a ward and sent junior doctors to carry out a medical procedure on him, causing him to be injured, said the mother, who identified herself as Chen.

Sze-miu, a chronic lung disease patient, was admitted on September 7 last year with a fever, a hospital spokesman said. He was diagnosed with pneumonia and sent into intensive care.

He died on December 10 from shock caused by acute respiratory distress syndrome and multiple organ failure.

In a meeting with Secretary for Food and Health Dr Ko Wing-man, Chen asked: "Why weren't there [senior] doctors in the [hospital] on weekends? If there had been senior doctors, my son would not have died."

The hospital said it had administered suitable treatment, but the boy's condition fluctuated and he did not react well to drugs or other treatments.

Sze-miu was transferred to a paediatric ward on October 6, but had to be returned to intensive care on October 17 as his lungs worsened, the spokesman said.

On November 29, doctors allowed Sze-miu to go home. Hours later he developed a fever and returned. His condition deteriorated and he had to be intubated.

Ko said the bureau would study the case with the Hospital Authority. "I need to understand how the authority has handled the complaint and whether the medical judgments were up to standard," he said.