Mr Vincent Ong Kok Lam shared his concerns over the management of his father's condition during the latter's stay in our hospital.
The senior Mr Ong was admitted to Tan Tock Seng Hospital on Feb 19 with a heart attack and a hip fracture. Other advanced illnesses were also revealed and the treatment options were fully discussed with Mr Ong and his family.
He was treated and cared for by our nurses, orthopaedic surgeons, cardiologists, the pain medicine service, occupational therapists, physiotherapists, medical social workers and palliative medicine specialists.
On March 6, Mr Ong was noted to be confused and had pulled out a catheter inserted earlier to relieve his hip fracture pain.
Investigations revealed he had suffered a second heart attack with accumulation of fluid in his lungs (heart failure).
He showed no signs of infection or fever. This was explained to the family members, but they felt his deterioration could be due to an infection and requested that tests be done.
Our doctors acceded to the family's request and, as a screening test showed the possibility of an infection, administered antibiotics as a precautionary measure.
Mr Ong's heart attack and failure were stabilised with blood transfusions and other medical interventions. When confirmatory tests did not reveal any evidence of infection, the antibiotics were stopped.
Mr Ong's condition continued to improve and he was subsequently discharged on March 13 after appropriate caregiver training.
We assure the family that there was no oversight in the care of Mr Ong. We understand Mr Vincent Ong's concerns and are continuing to engage him further to assist in his father's care.
Letter by Thomas Lew (Associate Professor)
Chairman, Medical Board
Tan Tock Seng Hospital
This article was published on May 7 in The Straits Times.Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.