Hepatitis C virus infection may be 'contributing factor' in one death

The Singapore General Hospital.
The Singapore General Hospital. PHOTO: ST FILE

The Medical Review Committee has found that a hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection could have been a "contributing factor" in the death of one patient whose cause of death had been pending.

In a statement last night, the Singapore General Hospital (SGH) said the committee chaired by an external senior hepatologist has completed its investigation into the death.

This was one of the eight patients who had died from the earlier identified group of 22 patients infected by the virus at SGH earlier this year.

At a press conference on Oct 6, SGH had said that HCV could not be ruled out as a contributory cause for four cases, while three had died from causes that were not linked to the virus, with one case under review.

In yesterday's statement, Professor Fong Kok Yong, chairman of the medical board, said: "The committee concluded that the patient passed away from end-stage renal disease and pneumonia.

"While the death was not caused directly by HCV, the committee could not rule out the possibility that HCV infection could have been a contributing factor."

In the meantime, no new cases have been reported.

SGH said that as of 6pm yesterday, 484 out of the 572 patients who have been screened tested negative for HCV.

Results are still pending for the remaining 88 patients.

None of the 294 hospital staff who have been screened tested positive for HCV.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 20, 2015, with the headline 'Hepatitis C virus infection may be 'contributing factor' in one death'. Subscribe