The Centre for Health Protection (CHP) of the Department of Health, through a surveillance system established since the launch of the human swine influenza (HSI) vaccination programme, today (January 20) received a report about a case of intrauterine death (IUD) involving a 37-year-old pregnant woman.
The woman is now staying at Tuen Mun Hospital (TMH) in stable condition.
The CHPs investigation showed that the woman at 28 weeks of gestation was suffering from a medical condition and was on regular medications.She was monitored at TMH and a Maternal and Child Health Centre (MCHC) during her pregnancy.
An examination performed at the MCHC on January 5 was normal.On January 19, she reported decreased foetal movement and no foetal heart sound could be detected when she attended the MCHC. She was referred and admitted to TMH and intrauterine death was confirmed.
She had received an HSI vaccination at the MCHC on December 28, 2009.
Investigations for common causes of intrauterine death, including infection, genetic and metabolic disorders, are being carried out. In Hong Kong, about 150 to 220 stillbirths are recorded every year.
A CHP spokesman said that there is no medical evidence presently to suggest that the intrauterine death was related to the HSI vaccination.
According to the World Health Organisation, studies to date do not show harmful effects from the HSI vaccine with respect to pregnancy or a developing embryo or foetus.
On the other hand, the chances of HSI-infected pregnant women requiring hospitalisation in intensive care units are 10 times higher than those of infected persons in the general population and the benefits of vaccination far outweigh the risks.
Cases of IUD following an HSI vaccination have also been recorded and monitored in overseas countries.So far no causal relationship has been found between an HSI vaccination and IUD.
The CHP will closely monitor the clinical progress and further laboratory results of this woman.