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United Christian Hospital announces Serious Untoward Event
The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     The spokesperson for United Christian Hospital (UCH) made the following announcement on a Serious Untoward Event today (May 9):
     A 43-year-old female patient was admitted to a UCH medical ward for management of hypertension in July 2016 and was diagnosed with Immunoglobulin A Nephropathy and received medication treatment. Follow-up was arranged for the patient in the Renal Specialist Outpatient Clinic (SOPC) after discharge.
     The patient attended follow-up consultation in the Renal SOPC on January 20, 2017. She was started on steroid therapy as the response to the previous treatment was not satisfactory. To closely monitor the condition of the patient, the doctor arranged follow-up in the Renal SOPC four weeks later.
     During the follow-up on February 17, the steroid dosage was stepped down progressively in view of the improving clinical condition, and further follow-up was arranged. The patient's liver function was unremarkable throughout the SOPC follow-up period.
     The patient was admitted to the general medical ward through the UCH Accident and Emergency Department for jaundice and bleeding tendency on April 1. The patient's blood test results showed acute hepatitis. As she is a hepatitis B carrier, the doctor prescribed antiviral treatment. On April 5, due to progressive liver function deterioration, the patient was transferred to Queen Mary Hospital for liver transplant assessment.
     On April 6, the clinical department reviewed the patient's medical record, which revealed that Renal SOPC medical staff did not prescribe antiviral prophylaxis in the period while she was put on steroid treatment in January. The team proceeded to further investigate the clinical management of this case.
     On April 19, the patient's family went to UCH to enquire about the medical treatment at the hospital. The department concerned arranged an ad hoc interview with the patient's family to explain the clinical course of the patient during the hospital stay in early April. A meeting to further explain the details has also been arranged.
     The clinical department and the patient relations team had another meeting with the patient's family on April 21, and explained the preliminary findings that the Renal SOPC medical staff were not aware of the patient's hepatitis B carrier status when she was started on steroid treatment in January, and antiviral prophylaxis was not prescribed. According to clinical experience, when a hepatitis B carrier is put on a high-dose steroid there will be an increased risk of acute hepatitis flare-up. In general, doctors will consider prescribing antiviral prophylaxis concurrently to reduce the risk. During the meeting, the clinical department expressed its apologies for the clinical management and a lack of proactive communication with the patient and her family.
     UCH expressed its most solemn apology and deepest sympathy to the patient and her family for not being aware of the patient's hepatitis B carrier status when she was prescribed with steroid treatment. The hospital is also deeply sorry and expressed its apologies for the lack of proactive communication with the patient and her family and the distress caused to them. The hospital will continue to communicate with the family and offer appropriate assistance.
     UCH has reported the incident to the Hospital Authority Head Office through the Advance Incident Reporting System. An independent review panel has also been set up to investigate the patient's clinical management and the communication with the patient and her family, as well as make recommendations to prevent any future occurrence.
Ends/Tuesday, May 9, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:45
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