The Hospital Authority is investigating the death last week of an elderly woman after she was given antibiotics at Caritas Medical Centre, despite the hospital knowing she was allergic to the drug. The 83-year-old woman sought emergency treatment for cellulitis, a skin inflammation, on November 2 and was admitted to the hospital's medical and geriatric ward. She was given an injection of antibiotics, after which her condition deteriorated. She died within hours despite resuscitation efforts. 'The patient was later confirmed to have a past record of drug allergy,' a hospital spokeswoman said last night. 'A thorough investigation will be carried out to determine the cause.' Appropriate disciplinary action would be taken if the death was a result of human error, she said. The case has been referred to the Coroner's Court. The hospital explained the incident to the patient's family and apologised the same day. A spokesman for the Patients' Rights Association, Tim Pang Hung-cheong, said failure to check the patient's record constituted 'very serious misconduct'. He said this was the second major blunder in recent months. An intern was blamed for an incident on September 8 in which an elderly woman received the wrong type of blood at Prince of Wales Hospital. The doctor was given a serious warning after an investigation. Mr Pang said there might be a system-wide procedural problem in the two public hospitals that needed to be addressed. 'We worry if there is a system error,' he said. 'There should have been a mechanism for checking blood and drugs to safeguard the rights of patients. 'The two hospitals should undertake their own reviews.'