KWC announces patient case who developed cardiac arrest after suturing procedure


The following is issued on behalf of the Hospital Authority:

     ​Kowloon West Cluster (KWC) today (May 28) announced a patient case who developed cardiac arrest after a suturing procedure:

     A four-year-old female child was brought to the Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department of Yan Chai Hospital (YCH) by ambulance accompanied by her father at around 8pm on May 25 due to a head injury. At that time, the patient was ambulatory. After initial examination by the medical staff of YCH, the patient was found to have fever and a two-centimetre wound over occipital region. The patient was conscious at the time of assessment. Radiological examination of chest and skull showed no abnormality. Wound suture was prescribed by doctor.

     According to the record, the patient was assessed by a nurse for the wound condition at 11.10pm. A patient care assistant helped settling down and positioning the patient to allow the nurse to suture over the occipital region. When the suturing procedure was completed at around 11.31pm, the nurse found that the patient was unconscious and had no pulse. Medical staff then immediately performed cardiopulmonary resuscitation and arranged intubation. The patient returned of spontaneous circulation at around 11.49pm. The medical staff arranged chest X-ray and computed tomography examination of the brain, which showed no abnormality. The patient was transferred to the Paediatric Intensive Care Unit of Princess Margaret Hospital (PMH) under escort by the PMH’s Paediatric team for further follow-up and treatment. The patient is currently in critical condition.

     Cluster Patient Relations Officer has maintained close communication with the patient’s family after the event, and clinical teams of PMH and YCH met patient’s family to explain the clinical situation in details and render all possible assistance to them.

     KWC is very concerned about this case and has reported this case to the Hospital Authority Head Office via the Advance Incident Reporting System. PMH will continue to provide appropriate treatment to the patient. Since it is very rare for a patient to develop cardiac arrest during suturing procedure, KWC has invited experts from Paediatrics and A&E specialties to review the case, and further investigation for rare diseases was arranged, in order to determine the cause.