April 4, 2024

Czech doctors abort wrong baby

An expectant mother lost her baby after a horrifying mistake in a hospital in the Czech Republic. A foreign woman who was four months pregnant went to Bulovka University Hospital, a major teaching hospital in Prague, for a routine check-up. She was mistaken for another foreign woman and placed under a general anaesthetic. Her baby was aborted instead. 

No one involved in the procedure — nurses, doctors, a gynaecologist and an anaesthetist — noticed the error. Both women were of Asian descent, according to local media.

The accident is being blamed on a failure of communication compounded by gross negligence by the staff. Neither of the women could speak Czech. “A Czech-speaking patient would probably actively resist the fact that she is going to undergo a procedure that she does not understand,” said gynaecologist Jan Přáda, of the Czech Medical Chamber. 

Přáda told the media that doctors are always supposed to confirm a patient’s name, check their hospital bracelet and number, and consult them multiple times about a procedure. But apparently neither of these women could communicate with the staff. It is not known what language the staff used to speak to the women. 

“The Ministry of Health expresses its deep regret to the patient and the entire family,” said a spokesman last week. “There was an inexcusable human error, and those responsible have been placed off duty.”