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WOMAN’S LATE-FATHER BRUISED AFTER SGH STAFF DREW BLOOD, SGH: “ELDERLY PEOPLE GOT THIN VEINS”

A netizen, Ms Tan, expressed concerns on a Facebook post about her late-father’s treatment during his stay at Singapore General Hospital.

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Tan detailed her grievances, stating that her father, who was admitted in “good faith”, became the unwitting subject of what she described as the incompetence of junior resident doctors.

According to Tan, her father was allegedly used as a “guinea pig” for training or experiments, with an alleged lack of oversight from senior medical professionals, particularly the Director.

Multiple Needle Holes

The incident in question occurred on November 23, 2023, when Tan discovered multiple needle holes and bruises on her father’s left hand.

Tan’s domestic helper, who was present in the room, claimed to witness SGH staff repeatedly inserting and removing needles into various parts of her father’s hand. The staff allegedly attributed these procedures to the doctor on duty.

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Disturbed by the situation, Tan inquired about the incident, only to be told that the responsible doctor would be identified. However, the details regarding the doctor in charge were not promptly provided.

On December 2, 2023, Tan was shocked to find her father’s right hand bruised and swollen. After contacting a staff nurse, she was informed that the resident doctor was responsible for the injuries.

Tan requested a meeting with the doctor, but to her dismay, the doctor had purportedly left the hospital without providing an explanation.

Questioned Hospital’s Competence

Tan raised serious questions about SGH’s supervision of its medical staff, expressing concern about the alleged irresponsibility and incompetence among junior doctors and nurses.

She criticized the Director for allegedly turning a blind eye and refusing to engage with the family despite their numerous requests for contact.

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The Facebook post, accompanied by images of the bruised hands, concludes with Tan asserting that regardless of financial status, every patient deserves to be treated with dignity and respect. The experience, she claims, has shattered the confidence she once had in SGH.

Source: Facebook

SGH Issues Statement In Response

You may have come across a Facebook post by Ms Teri Tan about the bruises on her late father’s hands.

We would like to express our condolences to the family on the passing of their loved one and address the concerns Ms Tan raised.

When Ms Tan requested to speak to our doctor on 2 Dec 2023 afternoon, he was already off-duty and had left the hospital. He called Ms Tan subsequently but was unable to reach her. He then contacted the patient’s nominated spokesperson, his wife, on the same evening, to explain the bruises on the patient’s hands that the family was concerned about.

Elderly patients, as well as those on certain medications, often have fragile skin and thin veins. This makes blood taking difficult and can lead to bruising as several attempts may be required even though our staff are competent in performing the procedure. We respect our patients who entrust their care in us. We are appreciative that the patient’s wife was understanding and accepted our explanation and apology for the discomfort caused.

We are sorry that the family’s request to speak to a senior doctor was not conveyed accordingly. We would like to assure Ms Tan and her family that the patient was looked after by an experienced care team, who was constantly updating the patient’s wife throughout his stay with us.

We have reached out to Ms Tan and the patient’s wife privately on the matter.

~ Assoc Prof Loo Chian Min, Chairman, Division of Medicine

Source: Singapore General Hospital
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