The Straits Times
Published on Nov 24, 2012

A&E trauma: Baffled by contradictory accounts


I AM baffled by the contradiction in Madam Adeline Lim's account ("Father-in-law's death: Handle patients better") of her father-in-law's treatment at Singapore General Hospital and the hospital's reply ("SGH explains what happened"; both published on Tuesday).

According to Madam Lim, the nurses told her and her husband that a CT scan was scheduled for her father-in-law the next day "as Oct 26 was a public holiday and the relevant staff were not working".

But the hospital replied thus: "As his condition was initially stable, our doctor scheduled a CT scan for the following day.

"CT scans are available at Singapore General Hospital around the clock, including Sundays and public holidays."

The two accounts contradict each other.

Who is correct? The nurses who explained the situation to Madam Lim, or the doctor cited by the hospital in its reply?

Shouldn't a head injury requiring stitches and a swollen eye warrant a CT scan on the same day, especially if the patient was elderly and whose condition was deemed serious enough to be admitted in the first place?

Lim Boon Hee (Dr)