Coroner criticised over conduct of SARS inquestBMJ 2004; 329 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.329.7476.1204-a (Published 18 November 2004) Cite this as: BMJ 2004;329:1204
- Jane Parry
- Hong Kong
The inquest of the Hong Kong Coroner's Court into six healthcare professionals who died while caring for patients during last year's outbreak of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) has returned a verdict of natural causes.
The court heard testimony from 43 witnesses, including family members of the deceased, doctors, nurses, medical experts, and hospital executives. Witnesses told the court that they thought the health workers had inadequate protective equipment. But the coroner, Michael Chan Pik-kiu, told the jury that it had to return a verdict of natural causes if it believed that SARS was the cause of death.
Witnesses explained that although Tuen Mun Hospital had no shortage of supplies medical workers were given one mask per 10 hour shift, had to turn gowns inside out and hang them up …