COVID-19 death case explained

February 11, 2021

(To watch the full press briefing with sign language interpretation, click here.)


The Hospital Authority today reported a COVID-19 case in which an 84-year-old man was confirmed infected with the virus after death.


The patient, who lived in Ka Lim Lau of Ka Wai Chuen in Hung Hom, was one of the new COVID-19 cases announced today with an unknown source of infection.


The authority's Chief Manager (Quality & Standards) Dr Lau Ka-hin told a press briefing this afternoon that the patient was found unconscious at home on the morning of February 8 and sent to Queen Elizabeth Hospital (QEH) by ambulance.


Upon arrival at the accident and emergency department (AED), the patient was sent to a negative pressure resuscitation room for cardiopulmonary resuscitation and intubation to assist his breathing.


However, his condition continued to deteriorate and he died in the afternoon.


Dr Lau noted that the patient's domestic helper attended the AED of QEH on February 10. She was arranged to undergo a COVID-19 test and the result was preliminary positive.


The AED contacted Kwai Chung Public Mortuary this morning and was informed that the dead patient tested positive for COVID-19.


The hospital also retrieved the patient's blood specimens collected on February 8 which tested positive for an antibody. Therefore, no hospital staff or patients were identified as close contacts.


Dr Lau noted that hospital staff have been reminded to conduct COVID-19 testing for a deceased patient if needed.


"Currently, doctors of accident and emergency departments will make a risk assessment after a patient dies in the accident and emergency departments. For this case, the doctor made the assessment that the patient did not have a fever, so the doctor decided not to take any samples for a COVID-19 test.


"However, we have advised our colleagues in accident and emergency departments that whenever any patients die upon arrival in the accident and emergency departments, they should do a better assessment and order the COVID-19 test if necessary."


Thorough cleaning and disinfection of the area concerned including the AED, resuscitation room and patient waiting area have been completed, he added.


Including this case, 185 COVID-19 patients have died in public hospitals so far.

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