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November 20, 2003

Tokyo hospital apologizes for error

From: Washington Times, DC - Nov 20, 2003

TOKYO, Nov. 20 (UPI) -- Doctors at a Tokyo hospital were reportedly apologizing Thursday for cutting the wrong ear of a hearing-impaired patient.

The Mainichi Daily News said the Tokyo Medical University Hospital made the announcement Thursday, although the blunder occurred in April while the patient was undergoing surgery for an artificial inner ear implant.

Officials said staff members confused the patient with another person undergoing similar surgery on the same day. Doctors realized the error while the operation was in progress and repaired the damaged ear.

The medical school's director offered an apology for the blunder, saying the hospital now marks the specific body part that is to be operated upon to eliminate confusion.

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