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Hospital did op on wrong man

Error was only discovered when follow-up scans showed two different bodies

AN INQUIRY has started at a hospital after the wrong patient went through an operation – while the patient who should have been under the knife has vanished.

The mix-up at the Lucien-Hussel hospital in Vienne (Isère) happened last November but only came to light last week when the “wrong” patient went for a check-up.

Hospital director Gérard Servais said it happened after a scan, when the “wrong” patient may have misheard a question on his identity and the two files got switched around. He was sent for his operation at a hospital in Lyon.

It was only when he went for a check-up at a third hospital that the mistake was found as the new scan did not show the same body.

Mr Servais said the patient had been told of what had happened and accepted it. The man was at no risk from the operation that had been carried out, although he would not reveal its nature due to medical confidentiality.

Now the hospital is trying to track down the missing patient as he is in need of urgent medical attention. The scan on November 27 showed he was more than 50 years old and there were 145 men of that description in the hospital at the time.

An inquiry has started to find out how the confusion could have happened.

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