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Hospital 'error' kills off 200 people

Hospital Error 'Kills' Two Hundred

Earlier this week, a hospital in Melbourne, Australia declared two hundred patients dead. While that might not sound too odd, these patients were very much alive.

Reuters reports that Austin Health has been left red faced after mistakenly faxing two hundred general practitioners, informing them that their patients had died. In actuality, the patients had been discharged from the hospital the previous day.

According to the Herald Sun, "At least one GP contacted a family member to express their condolences."

Staff immediately caught the gaffe and released a statement Thursday saying, "We apologized unreservedly to affected clinics who, for the most part, were very understanding about the error." Apparently the hospital uses a template, and someone forgot to swap out the word "dead" with "discharged."

The Guardian points out that this mistake is the result of an already outstretched health system, and that the entire situation could have easily been avoided.

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Carol August 15 2014 at 7:39 AM

I don't appreciate cheap tactics like this. The (startling) headline leads you to believe that 200 people were killed, but then the actual story is about a TYPO? That's really irresponsible reporting, and it's NOT news ... jerk-offs!

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10 replies
bigshadyobama August 15 2014 at 5:51 AM


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8 replies
nebrostx August 15 2014 at 7:21 AM

Clickbait at its worst. Shame on you AOL!!

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jcollina August 15 2014 at 6:10 AM

Hospital kill. In USA the figure is close to 100,000 per year. But, less dangerous matters get the governments' attention.

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2 replies
jurmik jcollina August 15 2014 at 11:26 AM

Yes indeed, a friend of mine is a nurse in a big city hospital in the USA. She said the number of people was 50.000 plus years ago, now prob 100.000, med errors and not being able to afford the care.

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1 reply
gramargo jurmik August 15 2014 at 9:19 PM

Interesting that the population of the country has increased a rather large amount in the time since "years ago", and undoubtedly many more people go to the hospital, and many more are living longer by far, therefore one would expect more deaths in hospitals......people go there who might otherwise die at home from whatever illness they have.

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Freedom Writer jcollina August 15 2014 at 12:52 PM

Yeah, and where are THESE articles? Instead, we get fluff about a typo.

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globe2see August 15 2014 at 7:18 AM

Who wrote the "While that might not sound too odd, these patients were very much alive." line of this article? Really? That is one of the poorest lines EVER! Go back to journalism school and re-take some writing classes! Stop trying to being "witty" because you AREN'T!

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1 reply
Madeye globe2see August 15 2014 at 11:55 AM

Journalism school? These writers MAY have had a writing course in high school, but I kinda doubt it.

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brennemanbelkin August 15 2014 at 9:13 AM

Good thing they didn't bury them.

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1 reply
Tom brennemanbelkin August 15 2014 at 5:09 PM

OK, that was funny. :)

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LoadHarvester August 15 2014 at 12:34 PM

This is an outrageously written article and AOL should be ashamed. Typo or not, using the term "killed off" is at the very least juvenile and certainly ignorant. When are they going hire so decent journalists?
Additionally, the mistake could hardly be called a "gaffe".

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1 reply
Tom LoadHarvester August 15 2014 at 5:10 PM

"Gaffe" must be French for "Typo".

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Barancy Peloma August 15 2014 at 6:57 AM

well, at least their healthcare was free. it killed them but, it was still free.

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5 replies
aljoramaggio August 15 2014 at 1:30 PM

Good thing this turned out to be simply a typo.

Nevertheless, hospital errors occur, relating to needless injuries and deaths, and I often wonder that it is in part, due to the voluminous paperwork that
Doctors and Nurses are required to fill out, justifying their every treatment to some bureaucrat in the County, State and Federal Government, not to mention the Insurance companies.

That is all time and energy taken away, from actually monitoring the patient at the bedside.

Let them do their jobs, instead of wasting precious time and paperwork making them justify what they do, or choose not to do!

The closer the patient is actually cared for and monitored, by humans, will go a long way in reducing medical error!

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userpat7248 August 15 2014 at 1:25 PM

When I first read the headlines, I wondered what they did wrong that killed 200 people. Am glad it was a typo, even though I should have realized it with the "error" kills off.

Flag Reply +1 rate up
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