Official warning over teen in vegetative state Shenzhen's vice-mayor yesterday threatened harsh punishment if medical negligence is involved in the case of a Hong Kong teenager left brain dead after being treated at a hospital in the mainland city. Yan Xiaopei said medical experts were investigating the case, and the Shenzhen government would contact its Hong Kong counterpart when the inquiry had been concluded. She said the investigation would not take long. 'But no matter what [put the boy in a vegetative state], out of humanitarian principles it's necessary to comfort the family,' she said. Tsang Chun-wah, 17, was admitted to the hospital on Tuesday last week after he felt unwell and vomited during a family trip across the border. His condition appeared to have improved after two days of treatment, but deteriorated suddenly on Thursday when he was placed on a drip. The family insists the drip put him in a vegetative state, but the hospital has denied responsibility. The family was visited yesterday by senior Hong Kong officers. Chief immigration officer Zhu Kwok-kwong and principal immigration officer Lau Shiu-hang, of the Hong Kong Economic and Trade Office in Guangdong, went to Sha Jing People's Hospital in Shenzhen's Baoan district to obtain an update on the teenager's condition. The boy's father, Tsang Shu-hing, said the officers promised to help him obtain a reasonable explanation and compensation from the hospital. 'The officers have made an agreement with me. I'm satisfied with their suggestion and see hope for the first time,' Mr Tsang said. A hospital official initially said samples of Dextran 40, the drip medication suspected of causing the boy's condition, had been sent to a local drug administration for inspection. But he later said the hospital did not have enough samples to complete the tests and had to wait until more Dextran 40 drips had been collected from other city hospitals. The Shenzhen Food and Drug Administration had not received an application for tests from the hospital. Dextran 40 is used to replace fluid and boost plasma volume to help treat some types of shock in the absence of whole blood or blood products. But for some patients, it may cause anaphylactic shock. The Hong Kong officers refused to comment on their discussions with the hospital officials and on whether the boy would be sent back to Hong Kong for medical care. 'We will report the case to the Hong Kong government. Now, the first thing is to make a proper treatment plan for the boy,' Mr Lau said. Shenzhen doctors said many hospitals on the mainland preferred to give patients intravenous drips because they were more expensive. 'Drips attract higher charges than injections or oral medications. And many patients like drips because they take effect very quickly,' according to one doctor.