Officials at Sendai Kosei Hospital in Sendai, Miyagi Prefecture, have revealed that pathologists mistakenly got the wrong corpse for a scheduled autopsy.
Hospital director Shunichi Shinohara apologized at a news conference this week to the family over the autopsy on the body, Sankei Shimbun reported.
On May 27, the hospital was initially scheduled to perform an autopsy on an 84-year-old man who had passed away the day before. Prior to his death, he had been bedridden with a permanent brain injury after a car accident last December. Hospital officials stored the body in a cold room, but there was no identification tag placed on the corpse.
At first, the man’s family agreed to carry out the autopsy. However, they withdrew their consent when hospital officials explained that a neurologist specializing in cranial nerve damage would need to conduct the autopsy to determine the relationship between the cause of death and the car accident, and it would take some time before the specialist could come to the hospital.
On the same day, another man in his 80s, who passed away on May 26, was scheduled to have an autopsy and was placed in the hospital’s morgue. However, the corpse stored in the cold room was mistakenly taken to the autopsy room and a doctor started the dissection. About 10 minutes later, a nurse realized that they were dissecting the wrong body and doctors proceeded to return the organs and suture the incision.
Hospital officials said the mix-up occurred because there were no identification tags to distinguish the two deceased male patients.© Japan Today