Tuen Mun Hospital missed autopsy for stillborn foetus

Wednesday, September 22, 2021

Tuen Mun Hospital failed to send a dead foetus for autopsy to look into reasons for stillbirth, and discovered the problem only when the mother went for medical check-up.

A woman 25 weeks pregnant received an induction of labour on the August 2 after the foetus showed no sign of life.

After the induction, the doctor conducted a series of examinations and tests for the woman and the foetus' specimens, including blood test, X-rays, placenta examinations and chromosome tests to investigate for the cause of stillbirth. 

The family members had also agreed to perform an autopsy for the foetus, which would be handed over to the Food and Environmental Hygiene Department upon completion of autopsy. 

But when the woman returned for postpartum examination in mid-September, the doctor could not find the autopsy report.

Follow-up investigation showed the foetus had not been despatched for autopsy at all.

The hospital had met the woman and her family to explain the incident and apologized.

It has reported to the Hospital Authority Head Office via the Advanced Incident Reporting System. The hospital will look into the incident and make recommendations for improvements.