A STUDENT nurse who strained his back when tidying up a camp bed in a hospital ward is claiming damages from the Government for his injuries. Herbert Cheng Shiu-hong, now a registered nurse, is suing the Attorney-General, as representative of the Director of Health, on the grounds of negligence and breach of duty of care. According to the statement of claim, Mr Cheng was a 21-year-old student nurse at Queen Mary Hospital at the time of the incident. It was part of his duty to make hospital beds in a ward filled with 50 standard beds and about 20 folding camp beds. On January 19, 1988, he and a colleague were tidying up a camp bed occupied by a patient. The bed was positioned between an empty folding bed and a standard bed. Because of the lack of space, and the fact that there were no wheels on the camp bed, it is claimed Mr Cheng had to move the empty bed out of the way before lifting the one with the patient in it and then swinging it around so that they could do the job. However, it is claimed, when Mr Cheng was in the course of swinging the bed back to its original position, he felt a sharp pain in his back. He was treated for a back injury as an outpatient at the hospital after that. But in November of that year he had a recurrence of the back pain and underwent surgery to remove a disc. He claims that because of the injuries he suffered, he was unable to perform manual work involving the lifting of heavy objects, nor could he play badminton, football or other sports. As a result, the writ reads, he could no longer perform ward duties. He could only do administration work and as a result could not gain any experience in surgical ward duties after he graduated as a registered nurse on March 17, 1989. It is the plaintiff's case that the defendant had failed to provide Mr Cheng with any mechanical or human help or assistance in lifting the camp beds. and had exposed him to unnecessary risk of injury.