Parents want justice for 6-year-old daughter in vegetative state

Local | 10 Oct 2021 7:38 pm

Chow Tin-yu, 6, was left in a vegetative state after she went through an operation to remove a tumor at Queen Mary Hospital. 

Her parents challenged that mistakes were made during the surgery, causing a 58-minute delay in blood transfusion. They have filed a civil lawsuit against the Hospital Authority, hoping that the medical staff involved will be held accountable for the incident.

The parents posted on Facebook on Saturday, saying Chow was diagnosed with stage 4 rhabdomyosarcoma -- a rare type of cancer that affects muscle tissue – three years ago. 

Her condition once improved after receiving chemotherapy and multiple treatments.

But during a surgery to have a tumor removed last year, her heart stopped and her abdomen swelled up so much that she had to have her abdomen dissected to drain the fluid. 

The resuscitation was successful and her respiration and heartbeat recovered later. However, her brain was severely damaged because of the long period of oxygen deprivation, and she has been in a vegetative state since the surgery.

Her parents repeatedly demanded an answer from the hospital, but only received a reply after six months.

The hospital said that Chow lost blood during the surgery, and that the anesthesiologist repeatedly administered intravenous infusions for her. It could have made her body fluid flow to her abdomen, increasing abdominal pressure and blood pressure, triggering cardiac arrest. 

Chow's parents believed the case was a medical blunder. 

Her father said a special type of blood is required for Chow's surgery, but Queen Mary Hospital did not prepare it that day due to miscommunication.

It took 48 minutes before the the first blood transfusion was given to Chow. During that time, the anesthesiologist administered intravenous fluids several times. The parents suspected too much was administered, which led to their daughter's cardiac arrest.

The hospital apologized to her family but stressed that the delayed blood transfusion and cardiac arrest were not necessarily related.

The parents said that they were under great psychological pressure after the incident. Both of them suffered from depression and had to take psychiatric drugs for a long time. 

They criticized the hospital for not taking responsibility. The parents said that they have filed a civil lawsuit against the Hospital Authority, hoping that the medical staff involved will be held accountable for the incident.



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