A Chinese dental hospital is being accused of malpractice after a young patient suffered continuous bleeding in his mouth following a routine wisdom tooth extraction and died two weeks later.
Liu Guofan, 26, had his wisdom tooth removed at Changsha Stomatological Hospital, in the capital city of Hunan Province in Central China, on 25th May.
Five days later, he posted on Chinese question-and-answer forum Zhihu, describing his mouth as being “full of blood” and claiming he had been bleeding non-stop “for days”.
Images shared by Mr Liu, which are still live on the site, show tissues and his blanket stained by blood, which continued to seep from his surgical wound as he slept.
He went back to the hospital for more stitches the following day, but that did not stop his bleeding, his older sister Liu Huan told Chengdu-based Red Star News yesterday (6th July).
Mr Liu was taken to Changsha Central Hospital on 4th June and wound up in intensive care the next day.
By 9th June he was dead, with hospital records listing sepsis and brain herniation caused by a cerebral hemorrhage as the most likely causes of death.
Ms Liu said: “He even joked with me, saying: ‘I’m bleeding so much, I think I’m going to die.
“‘Don’t forget to help me pay off my mortgage when I do.’
“On 4th June, he felt so ill that he tried to drive himself to hospital. He stopped halfway and was found by the police. They took him there in the end.”
Mr Liu’s doctor, surnamed Teng, was told of his continuous bleeding and was the one who suggested he return for more stitches, his sister said, citing screenshots of chat conversations.
But Doctor Teng “did not take his condition seriously”, Ms Liu claimed.
Medical records from Changsha Central Hospital show Mr Liu had fever up to 40.5 degrees Celsius and a high white blood count – both signs that his body was fighting an infection.
A hospital hematology report dated 7th June concluded that Mr Liu very likely had acute myeloid leukaemia, which makes patients more susceptible to infections and can be fatal within weeks if left untreated.
Ms Liu said her brother’s body was cremated the day after his death and taken back home to their native province of Hubei. It means a bone marrow test cannot be performed to confirm the leukaemia diagnosis.
Ms Liu, however, believes her brother’s dental surgeon is to blame, saying her sibling may have missed a crucial treatment window due to his doctor’s negligence.
She said: “We think the stomatology hospital is in the wrong. That’s why I’ve been trying to communicate with them.
“My brother told his dental surgeon about his condition, but he never took him seriously or provided any proper guidance.
“He missed his chance to be treated as a result.”
Ms Liu and representatives from the oral medicine hospital are to meet with Changsha’s medical disputes arbitration committee tomorrow (8th July), reports said.
According to Professor Fan, with the Peking University Hospital of Stomatology, the result of the arbitration case will depend on whether Mr Liu’s doctor had knowledge of his underlying condition, and whether he performed due diligence before surgery.
Changsha Stomatological Hospital did not respond to Asia Wire’s request for comment.
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