Prague medics carry out abortion on wrong mother after mix-up in Czech Republic

Doctors in the Czech Republic carried out an abortion on the wrong patient after a tragic mix-up.

Medics performed a termination at Bulovka University Hospital, in Prague, on a woman who was four months pregnant due to a language barrier.

The expecting mother went to the hospital for a check-up on 25 March, but instead was sent for a curettage – a procedure to remove tissue from the womb.

Another woman was supposed to have had the abortion but medical staff – including a doctor, gynaecologist, nurse, and an anaesthesiologist – mixed up the identities of the women.

Usually the curettage procedure is used to treat other gynaecological issues, but it can be used for abortion.

Gynaecologist Jan Přáda, vice-chairman of the Czech Medical Chamber, told local media: “A Czech-speaking patient would probably actively resist the fact that she is going to undergo a procedure that she does not understand.”

A source who did not wish to be identified told news outlet that both women were of Asian descent and did not have a proficient level of Czech.

They said: “It is a procedure that is ugly, called a scraping. It is performed on women who bleed for a long time or have problems after childbirth and the like.

“For incomprehensible reasons, the two patients were swapped at the clinic and the poor woman’s child was scratched.”

The procedure led the pregnant woman to miscarry. The staff who carried out the procedure have been suspended and an investigation is underway, according to reports.

David Marx, chair of the Czech Society for Quality in Healthcare, said: “The goal must be to do a root analysis, identify the causes, and set a process so that this never happens again.”

In the Czech Republic, abortion is legal for any reason up to 12 weeks and up to 24 weeks for medical reasons.

The Independent has reached out to Bulovka University Hospital in Prague for comment.

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