Authorities investigate deaths of 4 patients

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The deaths of four hospital patients, all of whom were given intravenous drips this month, are being investigated by authorities in Yizheng City in east China’s Jiangsu Province.

Yizheng People’s Hospital said three of the four patients had been given the same medicine, which wasn’t identified, but from different batches. The medicine had been withdrawn from use across the city and its producers are being investigated, yesterday’s Modern Express newspaper reported.

The first patient died on March 3. A 24-year-old man surnamed Wan felt pains in his abdomen and went to see doctors at 6:17pm. He was put on a drip but about 7pm went into cardiac arrest and was pronounced dead at 8:15pm.

A 51-year-old woman surnamed Chen died the next day. She fell ill on February 27 but refused to have a checkup. At 7:20am on March 4, she became unconsciousness and was taken to hospital. During treatment, her heart stopped. She was pronounced dead at 10:15pm.

The other patients, both aged 50, had throat problems. They died on March 20, the hospital said.

Qin Zhizhong, director of the hospital’s medical affairs department, said the hospital’s degree of responsibility would depend on the results of the official investigation.

The city’s health bureau said all of medicine given to the four patients had been collected and the results of the investigation would be released on April 5.

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