Headline News


10 doctors, officials punished for malpractice over virus outbreak

Source: Xinhua | 05-07-2008 08:06

HEFEI - Authorities in Anhui province have punished 10 doctors and officials for malpractice relating to the outbreak of hand-foot-mouth disease (HFMD) that has caused 22 deaths in the province, official sources said on Monday.

Song Yunxin and Li Guangming, both doctors with the Shaoying Town Hospital in the city of Fuyang were given demerits on Saturday by the Yingquan district health bureau for delaying moving a patient to the county hospital, the sources said.

The patient visited the hospital on April 30 and May 1, suffering from a fever and vomiting.

However, rather than conducting a thorough examination, Song and Li prescribed an intravenous drip and failed to refer the patient to any other hospital, the bureau said.

On May 1, when the same patient visited a hospital in the town of Xingliu, its vice-director Liu Jiajun diagnosed him with meningitis. The patient was not transferred to another hospital until 9 pm that day.

Wang Dongjun, a doctor in the village of Lichen, Taihe county, was fined 4,080 yuan ($585) for illegally injecting 17 children with immune globulin, which is sometimes used in the treatment of communicable diseases, the source said.

Wang claimed the injections could prevent the EV71 intestinal virus, which is one of the causes of hand-foot-mouth disease.

Li Baohua, a doctor from the village of Zhanxi in Anhui was also found guilty of profiteering from unnecessary injections of immune globulin, but the source did not give details of his punishment.

Li Peixun and four other officials were reprimanded by the government of Taihe county for failing to spread information about the disease to the people of Lichen, where they were posted.

Both EV71 and Cox A16 can cause HFMD, which usually starts with a slight fever followed by blisters and ulcers in the mouth and rashes on the hands and feet.

Those infected with EV71 often show the more serious symptoms. The virus can also lead to meningitis, encephalitis, pulmonary edema and paralysis.