Hospital 'error' kills off 200 people

Hospital Error 'Kills' Two Hundred
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.