Surgical blunder like 'a ticking time bomb'

Local | Phoebe Lee 24 Jan 2020

A lengthy surgical wire was left inside a 65-year-old man's coronary artery after a surgery at Grantham Hospital, leaving him with no choice but to undergo two additional operations.

The patient, surnamed Cheng, had an angioplasty surgery - a procedure to improve blood flow to the heart - at the public hospital last April. Soon after the surgery, his doctor informed him that a guide wire had accidentally been left in one of his coronary arteries.

The wire had a balloon attached to it that rapidly inflates and deflates to unblock the narrowed artery.

He went through a second surgery at Queen Mary Hospital to remove the wire, but doctors there failed to remove it due to its thinness. The hospital then performed a coronary artery bypass grafting to redirect blood around the blocked artery to three other arteries.

Although the operation was successful, the process stressed Cheng out. "It's as if there's a ticking time bomb inside of me. I don't know when it's going to explode and I'm in a lot of pain," he said yesterday at a press conference.

The surgeon also failed to realize that the guide wire was longer than he thought - as long as the distance between Cheng's heart and arm.

Grantham Hospital said it has been in discussion with Cheng about potential compensation.

"If the patient wishes to claim compensation, the Hospital Authority will follow up in accordance with the corporation's rules," the Hospital Authority said in a statement.

Cheng lodged a complaint to the Hospital Authority last April after the incident but has not been compensated yet.

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