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A mistake at Nagoya hospital results in the death of a high school student

A medical error resulted in the death of a high school student at the Japanese Red Cross Aichi Medical Center Nagoya Daini Hospital, the institution announced Monday.

A local doctor incorrectly diagnosed a 16-year-old male student with a digestive disorder in May 2023, leading to the teen’s death, according to the hospital’s announcement.

The GP found abnormalities in the teenager’s stomach during a CT scan, but did not consult a senior doctor.

The hospital later found that the student suffered from superior mesenteric artery syndrome (SMA syndrome), which causes a stricture of the duodenum leading to intestinal obstruction and gastric dilation.

Timely intervention, such as decompression through the insertion of a gastric tube, could possibly have saved the student’s life, the hospital said.

On May 28, 2023, the high school student was taken to the emergency room after complaining of symptoms, including vomiting. The local doctor performed a CT scan, diagnosed gastric dilation and diagnosed him with gastroenteritis before sending him home.

As the student’s symptoms persisted the next day, he returned to the hospital where another doctor – after reviewing the previous day’s CT images – suspected SMA syndrome.

Despite being hospitalized, the 16-year-old suffered cardiac arrest early the next day due to dehydration, fell into a coma, and died a few weeks later on June 15, 2023.

Hospital director Koji Sato expressed his deep regret at a press conference on Monday.

“We deeply apologize for our failure to save a young patient with his whole life ahead of him,” he said.

The hospital said it plans to compensate the relatives.

Translated by The Japan Times

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