Materia Medica Malaysiana

August 9, 2007

Baby may lose arm due to doctor’s error

Filed under: Uncategorized — malaysianmedicine @ 9:56 am

NST: KLANG: An 18-day-old baby is in danger of losing her left arm. It is believed it may be due to a mistake of a doctor inserting an intravenous drip needle last Friday.
The arm of Lai Yok Shan has turned black and doctors at the Tengku Ampuan Rahimah Hospital are doubtful it can be saved.
The baby is also in critical condition as she is suffering from a blood infection which her immune system is struggling to fight off because she was born premature after only seven months.
Due to her fragile condition, doctors placed her in an incubator and on a ventilator.
When her condition deteriorated, doctors decided to give her strong antibiotics which could only be administered intravenously.
It is learnt that the doctor had difficulty finding a blood vessel in the baby’s tiny arm. He is believed to have mistakenly inserted the needle into a muscle and tissue.
Yok Shan’s father, Lai Kian Khee, 24, said the hospital had called him on Friday to say that her condition was serious.
He claimed that there seemed to have been several attempts to insert the needle in his daughter’s wrists judging from at least five visible puncture marks there.
“When I saw her, she was crying and seemed to be in pain. Her arm had also turned white. The next day it was black.”
Lai said he was told by hospital authorities that a mistake had happened and that her arm was “dying”.
Hospital director Dr Yahya Baba said initial investigations showed that the doctor had made a mistake.
“I have apologised to the family on behalf of the hospital. This should not have happened and we will ensure that it does not happen again.”
He said a report had been sent to the Health Ministry, adding that any decision against the doctor could only be taken by the ministry.
Dr Yahya said compensation to Yok Shan’s family would also be decided by the ministry.
Lai said he and his Thai wife, Nut Tuemthony, 27, were deeply distressed.
“Is admitting their mistake and saying sorry enough? My girl is going to lose her arm.”
Lai said he was thinking of taking legal action against the hospital, despite Dr Yahya’s assurances that the Health Ministry would offer them compensation.
“I am thinking of doing so as I don’t want this to happen again. The people responsible for this must be held accountable.”

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