Fungus found in bronchoscopy cytology specimens at Ruttonjee and Tang Shiu Kin Hospitals

The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     The spokesperson for Ruttonjee and Tang Shiu Kin Hospitals (RHTSK) made the following announcement today (March 14) regarding reporting of fungus on bronchoscopy cytology specimens:

     Five bronchoscopy cytology specimens of medical patients collected from March 1 to 8 in RHTSK were found smear fungal positive. The Hospital is very concerned of the incident. Patient records were immediately reviewed and confirmed that these five patients are not suffering from fungal infection. According to expert microbiologists, except for immunocompromised patients, the effect of fungus to normal patients is minimal. The five affected patients had been discharged. They had been contacted and informed of the incident.

     The Hospital conducted investigation as soon as the laboratory results were reported. The cases had been reported to the Hospital Authority Head Office and the Centre for Health Protection. Further investigation is being carried out with expert advice from Chair Professor of Infectious Diseases, Department of Microbiology of the Li Ka Shing Faculty of Medicine of the University of Hong Kong, Professor Yuen Kwok-yung, and his team.

     With preliminary investigation by the expert panel, RHTSK has implemented the following measures:

(a) Immediate action was taken to suspend use of bronchoscopes in question. Bronchoscopy services have been suspended from March 10 with re-arrangement on elective services in Pamela Youde Nethersole Eastern Hospital.

(b) Checking on bronchoscopic washing system was done and manual cleansing is performed to prevent contamination due to possible malfunctioning of system.

     Investigation to identify the root cause is underway. The hospital Infection Control Team will continue to closely monitor the progress of investigation.

Ends/Monday, March 14, 2016
Issued at HKT 21:58