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A tissue sample ended up on the wrong slide – a stomach was removed without cause.

That is the tragic story of a pathology blunder in Ireland.

Man’s stomach ‘unnecessarily removed’

A 26-year-old man whose stomach was unnecessarily removed after he was wrongly diagnosed with cancer broke down as he told the High Court today of his shock after finding out that there had been a mistake in the diagnosis.

The court has been told that analysis of the his removed stomach after the operation showed no evidence of cancer and it was later discovered that his tissue sample had been mixed up with that of a 70-year-old cancer patient.

Laboratory errors in Florida, frequently involving the diagnosis of cancer, continue to occur. Sometimes the mistake is simply a mis-identification of the patient. In other instances, there is a serious mis-read of the tissue leading to a wrong diagnosis or a failure to diagnose. Laboratory malpractice can cause significant injury and death. The real tragedy is that, with proper procedures, mistakes in the lab can be eliminated.

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