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.
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”.
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.
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.