( dpa ) - A Hong Kong hospital admitted Saturday that it gave radiotherapy to the wrong patient for two months after mixing up two biopsy results.
Tung Wah Hospital said the biopsy examinations were confused after two men aged 72 and 69 years-old underwent tests for prostate cancer in January last year.
The mix-up lead to the 72-year-old receiving radiology treatment for a non-existent cancer for two months while the 69-year-old, who had the cancer, received no treatment for 10 months.
The second man was eventually diagnosed with cancer in October last year after another biopsy.
But the blunder was not discovered until last week when a urologist treating the 69-year-old reviewed his medical records.
The hospital said it had apologised to the families of the men who are both in stable condition and an investigation was now underway.
However, Dr Choi Kin, president of the Medical Association, told the South China Morning Post that radiotherapy could be very damaging and irreversible and described the mistake as "relatively serious."
"Radiotherapy can be very damaging to the internal organs and lead to burning of the skin," Dr Choi said.
Dr York Chow, secretary for food and health, expressed grave concern and instructed the Hospital Authority to set up a panel to investigate the incident and suggest measures to avoid similar mix-ups in the future.