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The Straits Times
Mar 24, 2022
KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital (KKH) said it has not been able to identify the patient who claimed that she waited for four hours to be treated for abdominal pains at the hospital in February and eventually lost her baby.
Professor Tan Hak Koon, chairman of the Division of Obstetrics and Gynaecology (O&G) at KKH, told The Straits Times on Thursday (March 24) that the hospital is aware of an online account of the incident at its Urgent O&G Centre (UOGC).
However, he added: “Despite our best efforts, we are still unable to identify the patient based on the scenario reported. There appears to be discrepancies between the story and the bill information shared online.”
The woman’s claims have been making their rounds on social media.
She said she was 20 weeks pregnant at the time, and had tested positive for Covid-19 and tried to get treatment at two private hospitals after experiencing severe abdominal pains.
She claimed she was denied treatment at both hospitals, which were not named, as she needed to be attended to by an infectious diseases gynaecologist because she had tested positive for Covid-19.
The woman subsequently arrived at KKH at 2pm to seek treatment but was told to wait at the drop-off area.
She said that at 5pm, she started to bleed but was still not attended to.
When a doctor eventually saw her at 6pm, she said she was told that she had lost her baby.
Prof Tan said on Thursday that KKH does not turn away patients in need of medical care.
Patients are triaged and attended to according to the severity and urgency of the condition at the UOGC, a 24-hour walk-in centre for women with obstetric and gynaecological conditions requiring immediate attention.
“Patients with the highest level of urgency will be attended to immediately. The average waiting time for patients in the middle level of urgency is within 30 minutes,” he said.
He added that patients at risk of a miscarriage will rest on a wheelchair or trolley, or be transferred to a monitoring area if necessary, and their vital signs monitored.
He also disputed the woman’s claim that the foetus had been discarded as medical waste, saying the hospital's procedure allows the patient to claim the foetus, and the hospital’s mortuary would bury or cremate it otherwise.
“We are concerned about the well-being of the patient cited in the report,” he said, urging the patient to contact the hospital at email@example.com to address her concerns and render the necessary support.
News of this alleged incident follows a separate case where a 36-week pregnant woman who was bleeding had to wait at the National University Hospital's (NUH) emergency department (ED) for two hours and later lost her baby.
In its statement on Wednesday night, NUH apologised and said it should have done more to provide closer monitoring and care to the woman during the March 15 incident.
The hospital said it is reviewing its process of managing expectant patients admitted into the ED so that such incidents do not happen again.