Injection victims recovering, say hospital officials
nov 2002
http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/taiwan/archives/2002/12/01/185459
By Melody Chen
STAFF REPORTER
Four out of the six babies who survived receiving the wrong injection at
Taipei's Peicheng Hospital for Women and Children Friday are now able to
breathe on their own, hospital sources said yesterday.

A baby died Friday after a nurse in the hospital mistakenly injected seven
newborns with the muscle relaxant Atracurium rather than a hepatitis B
vaccine.

The seven babies, all suffering breathing difficulties, were transferred to
four hospitals for emergency treatment Friday night.

Far Eastern Memorial Hospital, at which one of the four babies sent to it
died, said yesterday that the other three babies were in stable condition.

"Two babies can already breathe by themselves. The other baby still needs a
ventilator, but doctors say her condition is stable now," said hospital
spokesman Hong Wang-long (xn).

The baby sent to Taipei Medical University Hospital still requires
assistance breathing, a hospital source said.

Reports said the two babies transferred to National Taiwan University
Hospital and Taipei Municipal Hoping Hospital were both able to breathe by
themselves.

The nurse responsible for administering the injections said she is content
to look back on the tragedy from behind bars.

"Just detain me. Let me think about the whole event in the detention
center," Huang Ching-hui (tf) told prosecutors Friday.

Huang said she did notice that the containers of the vaccines she was to
inject into the babies were different from those used for hepatitis B
vaccines.

"I showed the containers to another nurse and asked her why the containers
were different," Huang said.

"The nurse told me that the package of the vaccines may have been changed.
After I injected one-and-a-half bottles of the vaccine into the babies,
they started to show abnormal signs," she said.

Huang said she did not know why the muscle relaxant Atracurium would appear
in the basket where hepatitis B vaccines were usually placed.

According to investigators, Atracurium had been placed in the basket for
hepatitis B vaccines without any signs noting the difference.

Peicheng Hospital Director Hsu Mu-chan (}u) insisted the mishap was
entirely due to the nurse's mistake.

The Department of Health (DOH) has formed a task force to investigate the
tragedy.

Huang Fu-yuan (I), vice superintendent of Mackay Memorial Hospital,
leads the task force. "My biggest concern now is whether these six babies
will suffer cerebral palsy," Huang said.

Meanwhile, a woman died of amniotic fluid embolism shortly after giving
birth in the Peicheng Hospital Friday night. Her frustrated family accused
the hospital of negligence.

Hsu Keng-yao (\ģ), the woman's husband, said his wife received an
anesthetic at 8:10am Friday. "However, the doctor rushed out because the
baby injection mishap had taken place," Hsu said.

"My wife had been kept waiting until 2:45pm, when she received her second
dose of anesthetic. My daughter was born about 3:30pm," Hsu Keng-yao said.

"But the hospital suddenly informed me my wife needed to be transferred to
another hospital at 8pm. At 10pm she died at the Far Eastern Hospital," Hsu
Keng-yao said.

Hsu Mu-chan said the tragedy was not the result of hospital negligence.

Acting head of the DOH Twu Shiing-jer (\-) visited the six babies in
hospital and the parents of the dead baby yesterday.

Twu said the department would seriously consider shutting down the hospital.