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Tuen Mun Hospital announces case of larvae being found in patient's wound
The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     The spokesperson for Tuen Mun Hospital (TMH) made the following announcement today (September 26) on a case of larvae being found in a patient's wound:
     During a nursing procedure for a bed-bound 62-year-old male neurosurgery patient, the clinical team of TMH found several larvae around the wound of his tracheostomy tube and left ear on September 24 and 25 respectively. Wound cleaning was performed immediately and the larvae were sent to the laboratory of the Department of Clinical Pathology for tests. Detailed clinical examinations by a doctor from the Department of Ear, Nose and Throat were also arranged for the patient immediately with bronchoscopy and computed tomography scanning. Repeated examinations by the clinical team showed no evidence that the incident had brought about extra health risk for the patient.
     TMH emphasised that the clinical team will change the gauze around the patient's tracheostomy every few hours for hygiene purposes. The patient is now in stable condition and the medical team of TMH will continue to provide appropriate treatment to the patient. The medical team has explained the incident to the patient's family and will continue to render necessary support.
     Laboratory tests performed by a microbiologist of TMH confirmed that the larvae were larvae of Sacrophaga, which is a kind of common fly in Hong Kong. Adult flies may breed larvae on wounds and subsequently cause infections.
     Pest control is scheduled to be performed monthly in the ward concerned and the last pest control service was carried out on September 22. After the incident, the contractor was requested to perform additional pest control services at TMH and ward areas. TMH has also checked all insect trap lights placed in the hospital, and found no obvious increase in the number of insects trapped. TMH reported the incident to the government departments concerned and urged relevant hospital departments and service contractors to maintain a high standard of hygiene in order to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes and insects.
     TMH has reminded clinical staff and patients to observe the following measures to avoid larva infestation:
  • Treat all wounds immediately and dress them properly to avoid breeding of larvae;
  • Enhance fly-proofing measures;
  • Observe good personal hygiene; and
  • Stay alert to patients developing symptoms of larva infestation.

     TMH has reported the incident to the Hospital Authority Head Office and the Centre for Health Protection. TMH will look into the hygiene standard of the ward and the cleanliness of medical equipment and consumables as well as explore measures to improve the clinical care procedures and step up pest control exercises inside the hospital. In addition, the hospital will work closely with relevant government departments, inspect the hospital and its nearby area to ensure environmental hygiene and eliminate pest breeding.
Ends/Tuesday, September 26, 2017
Issued at HKT 19:35
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