Hong Kong health care and hospitals

Hong Kong woman dies and baby in serious condition in hospital after induced labour procedure

Woman, 24, had a seizure and multiple cardiac arrests after drugs to induce labour were administered by hospital staff on Friday night

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 12 August, 2018, 10:14pm
UPDATED : Sunday, 12 August, 2018, 11:18pm

A 24-year-old Hong Kong woman died in a public hospital on Saturday after an induced labour procedure that left her baby in a serious condition.

The woman, who was receiving regular antenatal check-ups at Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Yau Ma Tei, was previously diagnosed with a deficiency of amniotic fluid and excess protein in her urine.

Her doctor arranged for her to be admitted for induced labour when she was 38 weeks pregnant, a hospital spokesman said.

She was admitted to the hospital at about 8am on Friday, August 10. After an assessment, the medical staff used medication to perform the induction.

The mother and baby were both in a stable condition at the time.

At about 10.30pm that day, the mother suddenly had a short duration seizure. Medical staff examined the patient immediately and she then suffered a cardiac arrest a few minutes later, the spokesman said.

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Cardiopulmonary resuscitation was performed and personnel from anaesthesiology, the intensive care unit and paediatrics were alerted to help with the resuscitation.

Meanwhile, an emergency caesarean section was performed and the baby was delivered at 10.45pm.

The medical team attempted resuscitation for more than three hours, but the woman remained in a critical condition and had repeated cardiac arrests.

She died at about 5am on Saturday.

The baby was in serious condition in the hospital’s neonatal intensive care unit on Sunday.

The medical team was in contact with the woman’s husband and relatives throughout the incident, the spokesman said.

The case was referred to the Coroner's Court.

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A panel will be set up for an investigation, the spokesman said. A report will be completed and submitted to the Hospital Authority Head Office in eight weeks.

The hospital said it expressed its deepest condolences to the family and said it would provide the family with all necessary assistance.

Dr Kun Ka-yan, a private obstetric specialist, said from the limited information provided by the hospital, the mother might have suffered from pregnancy-induced hypertension, which could lead to pre-eclampsia, resulting in the excess proteins in the urine and seizure.

Undetected health problems could be another factor, he said.

In November 2016 at the same hospital a 33-year-old woman, who was 38 weeks into her pregnancy and diagnosed with foetal deceleration, died days after a surgery to remove her uterus after childbirth in an attempt to avert severe bleeding.

In October that year, a 26-year-old woman, who was 37 weeks pregnant and had high blood pressure and too much protein in her urine, died in the same hospital after delivery in which severe bleeding occurred. A surgery to remove her uterus was also performed.