Man operated for piles in mistaken identity case

SHENYANG - A hospital in north-east China is investigating a case of mistaken identity where a father-to-be waiting anxiously outside a labour ward was summoned to an operating table and had his piles removed, reported the Chinese media.

The 29-year-old, surnamed Wang, is also querying the hospital over how its staff could have overlooked so many procedures for preventing a wrong surgery, reported the Chinese Business Morning Post of Shenyang city.

The incident, which he described as "absurd", took place early this month in Shenyang's Hunnan Hospital.

According to the migrant worker, he was waiting outside a room where his wife was undergoing Caesarean section when a person gestured for him to go in.

Assuming that his help was needed, he complied and found himself in a smaller partition of the room, which had an operating table.

He was told to take off his trousers and get on the table.

He thought there must be many things linked to child birth that he was unaware of, and again complied.

"Halfway through the operation, I heard the cry of my baby.

"When at last I was allowed to get off the table, I felt difficulty walking as there was a burning pain in my butt, with the anaesthetic wearing off.

"Only then did I know I had undergone a haemorrhoid surgery."

The hospital admitted that he had been mistaken for another patient and promised to pay 5,000 yuan (S$1,000) to settle the dispute.

But it also said he was partly to blame. As a grown-up, he should not have followed blindly instructions.

Lawyer Wang Jinhai told the Morning Post that, although piles removal is a minor surgery, the hospital was still obliged to give Mr Wang a detailed briefing first.

There are also other questions such as why his identity was not verified and how his piles problem could be the same as that of the actual patient that even the surgeons did not notice anything amiss

Medical practitioners who fail to observe surgical procedures in China face suspension of licence for up to a year should something wrong happen during and after an operation, the official Xinhua news agency pointed out.

They may also be prosecuted if a mistake amounts to a criminal offence.

Get MyPaper for more stories.