The death of a Hong Kong man who had recently received a dose of the Sinovac coronavirus vaccine was caused by complications unrelated to the Chinese-made jab, a hospital pathologist has told an inquest.
Fire safety consultant Timble Li Yu-kun died in Queen Elizabeth Hospital on the morning of February 28, hours after he was admitted for shortness of breath. Hospital staff later found out that the 63-year-old had received his first shot of the Sinovac vaccine two days earlier.
Testifying at the Coroner’s Court on Wednesday, consultant pathologist Cheuk Wah said Li had died of pulmonary congestion induced by the severe obstruction of his coronary arteries, and that neither condition was a side effect of the jab.
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In a postmortem examination, Cheuk found that Li’s coronary arteries were up to 95 per cent blocked, and concluded that the complication must have set in two to three weeks before his death. When the heart failed to pump blood efficiently, it could cause fluid to accumulate in the lungs, Cheuk explained.
The pathologist noted that signs of an allergic response – such as a swollen throat, a narrowing of the airway and skin redness – were absent, meaning Li did not experience an adverse reaction to vaccination.
Results of past clinical trials also did not suggest that Sinovac vaccines would cause an acute obstruction to coronary circulation, he added.
The inquest heard on Tuesday that Li, a regular smoker, had suffered from a heart disease and occasional chest pain before getting the shot, but his friends said he appeared to be in good shape a day after inoculation.
Li visited a clinic in Yau Ma Tei in June 2020 and told a doctor he smoked three packs of cigarettes a day despite suffering from chronic illnesses, the court heard on Wednesday.
In a medical examination three months later, Li was diagnosed with diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure, and was prescribed regular medication. He last visited the clinic on February 3.
Alvina Lo, the attending doctor, said Li’s health was found to have deteriorated in his last medical check-up, with his blood sugar and blood pressure higher than usual. She diagnosed Li with exercise-induced chest pain, but did not believe he had an acute heart condition.
Lo said she had suggested Li consult a cardiologist and quit smoking, but he told her he had no plans to do so.
A doctor working at Queen Elizabeth Hospital’s emergency department said Li sought medical attention at 1.34am on February 28. The doctor did not find any signs of an allergic response and determined that Li was suffering from either pulmonary congestion or an airway infection.
Li’s condition was said to have briefly improved upon taking medication, only to take a turn for the worse.
The doctor said he had ruled out the possibility of a vaccine-related episode as neither of the conditions were allergic responses.
The inquest continues before Coroner Monica Chow Wai-choo and a five-member jury on Thursday.
This article Death of man 2 days after Sinovac Covid-19 shot was unrelated to jab, Hong Kong inquest hears first appeared on South China Morning Post