Japan cancer hospital failed to screen 7 fatal surgeries, says panel

Japan cancer hospital failed to screen 7 fatal surgeries, says panel

CHIBA - A third-party committee investigating the deaths of 11 patients who received laparoscopic surgery at the Chiba Cancer Center said Monday that at least seven patients received treatment without prior ethical screening despite the extremely difficult nature of the operations, which were not covered by public health insurance.

In a report released Monday, the panel said the operations were problematic because they were performed without prior examinations to confirm whether it was safe to conduct the surgeries.

The panel is headed by Kozo Tatara, chairman of the Japan Public Health Association, and was established by the Chiba prefectural government. Comprising experts specialising in medical safety, it began conducting a probe and discussing future measures in July last year.

The prefectural government asked experts belonging to the Japan Surgical Society who were familiar with laparoscopic operations to analyse the medical examinations given to the patients who died after receiving surgery, as well as internal procedures followed at the cancer centre.

The panel examined 11 cases involving men and women aged 57 to 86 who received surgery from June 2008 to February 2014. With 10 of the 11 patients, the report said, there were such problematic findings as the failure to properly stitch up organs that were cut during surgery, as well as insufficient postoperative examinations that led to delays in dealing with that problem.

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