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Hòa Bình hospital deaths: Dialysis machine water bad

Update: June, 26/2017 - 16:45
A patient undergoing kidney dialysis at Hòa Bình General Hospital. – VNA/VNS Photo
Viet Nam News

HÀ NỘI – Water used for kidney dialysis in Hòa Bình General Hospital, where eight patients died recently, in one of Việt Nam’s most serious medical incidents, did not meet standards, tests revealed.

The Ministry of Public Security’s Criminal Science Institute arrived at the conclusion after analysing samples.

Water samples from dialysis machines number 10 and 13 had a low level of potential of hydrogen (pH) and high conductivity; the florua level in machines number 10 and 13 were 245 and 260 times higher, respectively, than permissible limit of Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI).

The other dialysis machines tested also had higher florua levels than permitted.

According to AAMI, the maximum florua level allowed in the kidney dialysis water is 0.2 mg per litre.

Investigations revealed that Bùi Mạnh Quốc, director of Trâm Anh Water Treatment Co. Ltd., which maintained and replaced the Reverse Osmosis (RO) filter system of dialysis machines, used chemicals to purify the system. During the process, however, the machines’ water supply tubes were not purified carefully, leaving chemical residue. After pasteurisation of RO filter system, Quốc did not check quality of water samples before handing the system over to the hospital.

Last week, the Hòa Bình police arrested three people suspected to be responsible for the incident. They were prosecuted in a criminal case.

Quốc, 31, is being investigated for unintentional manslaughter, following the violation of professional and/or administrative rules.

Trần Văn Sơn, 27, an employee from the hospital’s medical equipment department, is being investigated for failing to supervise the water filter process.

Nephrologist Hoàng Công Lương, 31, has been arrested for medical violations as Lương allowed the dialysis treatment to commence without checking water quality.

Trương Quý Dương, director of Hòa Bình General Hospital, and two other employees have been suspended pending investigation into suspected negligence that led to the incident.

On May 29, 18 patients underwent kidney dialysis treatment in the northern province’s general hospital. Soon, they reported nausea, abdominal pain and shortness of breath.

The same day, eight patients died of suspected anaphylactic shock. The remaining 10 patients were transferred to Hà Nội’s Bạch Mai Hospital and have recovered.

Further investigation is ongoing. — VNS




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