A patient admitted for day surgery for a minor nose disorder had slipped into a coma for 4 years after
undergoing an operation at Alexandra Hospital. In 2015, he was transferred to a nursing home where he later
died the following year following complications.
In a lawsuit for alleged negligence, the patient’s wife sought compensation from Jurong Health Services and
three doctors for the operation which left her husband in a permanent vegetative state since 2012.
The patient, Gu Ziqiang (“Gu”), was 34 years old at the time of the operation in July 2012. A Chinese national
who worked in Singapore for three years as a bus driver, he sought treatment for nasal obstruction. Before
surgery commenced, a tube was inserted into Gu’s windpipe to aid breathing and protect his airway. However, 20
minutes after the operation commenced, the oxygen level in Gu’s blood fell. According to court papers, a
consultant from the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) had re-checked the tube placement thereafter. After the
operation, Gu remained in the ICU for more than a month.
Gu’s family, who remained in Sichuan province when Gu moved here to work, has now reached a settlement on their
negligence claim. They are set to receive $397,200 as the final payout. Jurong Health Services has also dropped
all hospital charges for Gu and agreed to settle all expenses of his nursing home stay.
Gu’s family was represented by N. Srinivasan from Hoh Law Corporation. For
more information: article by the Straits Times