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Pregnant women suffer deadly complications from anaesthetic

Update: November, 22/2019 - 16:34

 

Patients at a hospital in Đà Nẵng. Two pregnant women in Đà Nẵng have died and one is in a critical condition after being injected with an anaesthetic. — VNS Photo Công Thành 

ĐÀ NẴNG — Two pregnant women in Đà Nẵng have died and one is in critical condition after receiving injections of an anaesthetic for caesarean section at the city’s Women’s Hospital, but the three new-born babies were saved.

Deputy Director of the city’s Health Department Nguyễn Út announced the news at a press conference on Wednesday, stating that the anaesthetic ampule (Bupivacaine WPW Spinal 0.5% Heavy 5mg/ml), which was produced by Warsaw Pharmaceutical works Polfa S.A. Poland, was used to anaesthetise the three pregnant women at the hospital.

Út said the department is undergoing further examinations before an official announcement is made relating to the incident.

He said a total of 250 anaesthetic ampules were stored at the hospital, of which 130 had been used for other pregnant women earlier that did not result in any complications.

He said the final examinations for the un-used anaesthetic ampules will be released in 10 days, and the department will conclude on the cause of the deaths.

Director of the Women’s Hospital Võ Xuân Tú said the three pregnant women had the same syndrome after being injected with Bupivacaine. 

He said the anaesthetic ampules were imported and distributed by the central pharmaceutical joint-stock company No 1’s Đà Nẵng branch on October 22 with expiry dates of June 2021.

Pharmacist Nguyễn Minh Thái from the city’s health department said Bupivacaine has been used at different hospitals in the southern region, and yet a warning on the ampule has released by the Drug Authority Department under the Ministry of Health.

According to a report by the city’s health department, the first pregnant woman, P.T. (not her real name), 32, was taken to the hospital on October 20 and injected with Bupivacaine. She suddenly experienced respiratory failure and cardiac arrest. Doctors were unable to resuscitate the woman. She was taken by ambulance to the city’s General Hospital – two kilometres away – but was pronounced dead. The woman died one hour and 45 minutes after receiving the anaesthetic.

The second incident occurred at the Women’s Hospital with V.T.N.S, 32, on November 17. The woman was in poor health and taken to the city’s Obstetrics and Paediatrics hospital but passed away seven and a half hours later.  

The third patient, T.H., 33, was due to undergo caesarean section at the Women’s Hospital on November 17. She suffered respiratory failure after receiving the anaesthetic. T.H. was then taken to the city’s General Hospital. Doctors were able to save her baby, but the mother was in a critical condition. She is receiving intensive care at the General Hospital.

According to the Women’s Hospital, four anaesthetic ampules were stored for caesarean section, but only Bupivacaine had resulted in deadly complications.

Bupivacaine was imported by different hospitals in the central region including General Hospitals of Quảng Nam and Quảng Ngãi; Vinmec Đà Nẵng; health centre of Cẩm Lệ District and Hoàn Mỹ Hospital in Đà Nẵng; Pacific Medicine Limited Company and joint-stock Minh Thiện general hospital company in Quảng Nam Province. — VNS

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