Police report made over complications from injection on Hong Kong child, 2

Management apologises to parents of a girl hospitalised at Queen Mary Hospital; doctor says children have small veins, making procedure difficult

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 01 December, 2016, 7:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 01 December, 2016, 7:00am

Parents of a two-year-old girl have made a police report after swelling and blisters appeared on their child’s right foot following an intravenous infusion.

Photos posted by the child’s parents in a Facebook group showed the worrying condition of the girl’s right foot. The child reportedly also had multiple illnesses and has been hospitalised at Queen Mary Hospital in Pok Fu Lam since April.

The hospital has apologised to the family over the incident.

“No [medical staff] were aware that my baby’s foot had swelled to three times [the normal size] ... She isn’t able to talk yet but was pointing to her foot indicating the pain,” the parents wrote in a Facebook post on Tuesday evening.

“Her foot was cold and frozen. If discovered any later, [she could have lost the limb],” the child’s mother told Apple Daily.

Police confirmed they received a report last Saturday from a woman, who claimed to have discovered redness and swelling on her two-year-old daughter’s foot upon visiting her in a hospital in Western District.

The woman requested to put the case on record.

A hospital spokeswoman confirmed that police visited a ward on Saturday to understand the matter on request of the child’s mother.

The spokeswoman said the girl was admitted to the paediatric intensive care unit in April due to intestinal obstruction and tracheo-oesphageal fistula – an abnormal condition in which the oesophagus and trachea – or windpipe – are connected to each other.

She was later transferred to a paediatric surgical ward in a stable condition.

The child received an intravenous infusion for nutrients after developing a fever and vomiting last Thursday morning.

The procedure stopped at 9am that day but resumed at 8pm after the girl developed a fever again, resulting in an accelerated heart rate and a drop in urine level.

The infusion stopped only on Friday noon, when the girl’s right foot was found to have swelling and bruises where the procedure took place.

Doctors diagnosed the swelling as a result of infusion extravasation – the leakage of solutions to surrounding tissue – and explained the condition to the child’s parents in the afternoon that day.

Family members also met with medical staff and a patient relations officer in three sessions from Monday to Wednesday, to learn about the girl’s condition and treatment.

The hospital said they would maintain contact with the family and provide any possible assistance.

Paediatrician Dr Henry Yeung Chiu-fat said it was often more challenging to apply intravenous infusion on small children.

“Their veins are usually smaller. Also, as babies have more fats, it is harder to identify the location for injecting a needle,” Yeung said.

He added the leakage of solution to surrounding tissues, which was caused by a misplacement of the needle, could be due to an inaccurate injection or loosening of the needle.