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Chiba Cancer Center left 15-centimeter-long gauze in patient's body

13 Comments

Chiba Cancer Center has apologized for a medical error that occurred in December, in which a piece of gauze was left in the body of a female patient who underwent surgery for kidney cancer.

According to the center, the patient in her 60s underwent laparoscopic surgery last December complained of severe stomachache in February, Fuji TV reported. An examination revealed that gauze used in the surgery was left in her body. As the patient suffered intestinal obstruction, the gauze was taken out in an operation right away. The gauze was 15 centimeters long and 3 centimeters wide. The center said the woman is in a stable condition.

Center officials told a news conference on Wednesday that during the operation, many pierces of gauze were used and that the surgeon forgot to remove one of them from the patient's body.

There have been a series of medical scandals at Chiba Cancer Center in recent years. Eleven patients who underwent laparoscopic surgery died after a short period of time and a breast cancer patient who did not need to have a mastectomy had her breast removed by mistake.

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13 Comments
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I wonder if they use the WHO Operating Room guidelines, designed to reduce and eliminate these sorts of errors? They have been very successful in other parts of the world, especially when staff and patients are faced with arrogant surgeons.

10 ( +10 / -0 )

My wife is a nurse and the stuff she tells me about that gets brushed under the carpet would make you shiver.

2 ( +4 / -2 )

I had a doctor forget to set my broken elbow and cast me. A month later only to say sorry I focused on your wrist and forgot your elbow. Hospitals here are a joke.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

Medical care here is laughable for sure. I visited two different doctors for abdominal pain. 18000 yen later, wasn't helped at all.

1 ( +5 / -4 )

15 cm is pretty huge. Perhaps the surgeon was overworked? Not a good excuse i know.

But yeah in Japan its either a hit or a miss, it costs a bit but you just need to try different kind of clinics until you find the one that really fits/helps your needs. In the city its not too hard to find a different clinic but especially for people in the country side its going to be difficult.

5 ( +5 / -0 )

A dentist left some gauze in my tooth when I was 11. I had been plagued by gum disease until a couple of months ago when a Japanese dentist opened up the tooth and found it.

0 ( +3 / -3 )

I had a doctor forget to set my broken elbow and cast me. A month later only to say sorry I focused on your wrist and forgot your elbow. Hospitals here are a joke.

Over generalization, yes there are some hospitals and doctors that are out of line and should be shut or have their licenses revoked. However to paint them ALL with the same brush and suggest they are all a joke is just plain being ignorant.

I have worked in hospitals here and over the years been a patient too, there are good and bad, just like ANYWHERE in the world and to think otherwise is a joke too!

1 ( +6 / -5 )

The centers heads will bow deeply end of story!!

-1 ( +2 / -3 )

I have only run into one bad doctor here. The rest have been caring and excellent.

0 ( +1 / -1 )

i found Hospitals in Japan very good ,,,like all things good and bad 99% good

-2 ( +1 / -3 )

That is mind blowing but very much agree with Yubaru, its not a Japan-only issue: hospitals/docs do stuff things up sometimes.

Right now in Sydney one of our biggest hospitals St Vincent's is embroiled in a major scandal: close to 80 patients suffering from cancer have been given the wrong doses (too low) of chemo for years, almost half of them have died. The hospital itself has admitted guilt and 'key omissions' which are unforgivable at this level yet they did occur.

Perso I see this as one of the downsides of the job (docs): many are too matter of fact and just don't question their initial decisions. If one day I have something serious I know I will seek 2-3 opinions before deciding what to do next. Having said that no one expects any surgeon to 'forget' something in their body.

-1 ( +0 / -1 )

The problem is accountability or the lack there of.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

Laproscopic surgery doesn't provide the view of the area being operated on like the surgery you're typically familiar with. That doesn't excuse this lapse, however. It's my understanding that a nurse should be counting and recording everything that goes into the body and crossing them off as they come back out. Obviously that was not properly done in this case.

0 ( +0 / -0 )

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