Doctors not at fault after medical procedure left 16-year-old girl paralysed last year

Doctors not at fault after medical procedure left 16-year-old girl paralysed last year

A teenage girl was left partially paralysed after experiencing rare complications during treatment

doc.jpg

Doctor Alan So King-woon said he believed that a guidewire or dilator may have damaged an artery when a catheter tube was being inserted into a vein in the girl’s neck.
Photo: Edward Wong/SCMP

Doctors were not to blame for a medical procedure that left a 16-year-old girl partly paralysed.

An investigation found that the girl had very rare complications while being treated at United Christian Hospital last year. Doctors and hospital staff were cleared of any wrongdoing.


Face Off: is Hong Kong really a health-conscious city?


Alan So King-woon, the vice-chairman of the Hospital Authority’s central coordinating committee on paediatrics, which led the investigation, said “everything was done up to standard”.

The teenager suffered a stroke when receiving treatment in hospital.
Photo: SCMP

So said he believed that a guidewire or dilator may have damaged an artery when a catheter tube was being inserted into a vein in the girl’s neck. This caused blood to gather around the lungs. The girl was then moved to Queen Elizabeth Hospital, where doctors found that the girl had suffered a stroke.

The girl remains in a stable condition, and is currently undergoing rehabilitation treatment. She is paralysed on the left side of her body, and unable to swallow. The girl’s family said the findings were “hard to accept”, and were concerned about the girl’s future.


Public health care is a right in HK, and it’s time the government started supporting that


So added that hospitals should make it clear to patients and their families that this particular catheter insertion procedure could result in a stroke, and that hospital staff should look out for symptoms of a stroke after this procedure.

The girl was admitted to hospital on October 31 last year, where she was confirmed to have an inflamed spinal cord. When the girl’s condition didn’t improve after treatment, doctors planned to replace her blood plasma with donor plasma.

Doctors inserted a catheter, a thin tube often used in medical treatments, into a vein in the girl’s neck as part of the procedure. Her artery was damaged at this point, causing the resulting complications.

Edited by Ginny Wong

 
This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Doctors not to blame for patient’s condition

Comments

To post comments please
register or