Prague hospital fires employee over tragic patient mix-up that led to miscarriage

Bulovka University Hospital said an employee failed to identify the error which led a healthy pregnant woman to miscarry back in March.


Written by ČTK Published on 15.05.2024 09:54:00 (updated on 15.05.2024) Reading time: 1 minute

The Bulovka University Hospital in Prague has fired an employee due to a tragic mix-up of patients, and another staffer works under supervision, Czech media server Seznam Zprávy reported, referring to a mistake due to which the wrong female patient underwent a medical procedure in late March, during which she miscarried.

The procedure was intended for another woman. The hospital offered out-of-court compensation to the injured patient at the end of April but did not want to disclose the amount.

According to media reports, the two female patients were foreigners of Asian origin who lived permanently in Czechia. One came for a routine checkup during pregnancy; the other went for a curettage, which is performed, for example, to treat a uterine illness but can also be used to terminate a pregnancy. The staff mixed the two up.

“An analysis has shown that two Bulovka hospital employees made a mistake. One was dismissed by mutual agreement; the other now works under supervision,” hospital spokeswoman Eva Stolejda Libigerová told Seznam.

Immediately after the incident, four female hospital employees were suspended, but the hospital’s management did not want to say which of them was eventually dismissed.

Michal Zikán, head of the hospital’s gynecology and obstetrics clinic, said the patient had responded in the waiting room to being addressed by another woman’s name.

After that, the staff began to prepare for the surgical procedure, even though she was 16 weeks pregnant. “The system failed here. Even the best one cannot be 100 percent error-proof, even if we wish it,” Zikán said.

Hospital director Jan Kvaček apologized to the injured woman in early April and began negotiations with her about compensation.

“At the end of April, we submitted an out-of-court compensation proposal from the hospital to the legal representative of the injured patient. We have not yet received a response,” Libigerová said.

The case is being investigated by police on suspicion of negligent bodily harm.

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