Australian cancer patient has wrong part of colon removed after mistake in test result

A botched pathology result has led to a cancer patient having the wrong part of his colon removed at an Australian hospital.

The male patient was undergoing colorectal surgery at Northern Beaches Hospital (NBH) in Sydney last week when surgeons accidentally removed the wrong section.

The Sydney Morning Herald reports the removal was due to a mistake in the pathology report supplied by the hospitals external pathology provider Australian Clinical Labs (ACL).

ACL's director of communications said the company does not comment on individual patient cases due to privacy and referred the Sydney Morning Herald back to the hospital.

According to NBH's private operator Healthscope, the patient and his family have been given full disclosure and his ongoing care and treatment is being supported by NBH.

The incident has been referred to the NSW Ministry of Health and its cause is under investigation.

"Wrong-site surgery" is one of the most serious, rare and preventable medical errors. Any event must be reported at the highest level of the health system, reports Sydney Morning Herald.

On Friday, the patient returned to the hospital to have corrective surgery. It is unknown whether he will suffer long-term effects from the accidental removal.


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