A 2-year-old British boy was left permanently infertile after doctors treating an undescended testicle accidentally operated on the wrong one, leaving family members angered.
The incident happened at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children, where the unnamed toddler was set to undergo a routine procedure to correct an undescended testicle that the boy’s pediatrician noticed during a routine checkup. As the BBC reported, doctors told the family that there was minimal risk and the procedure itself would take about half an hour.
But after a very long wait, the boy’s parents said doctors arrived to deliver some bad news. A doctor had reportedly inserted a camera into the “wrong side,” which doctors said left the boy’s healthy testicle unable to function for the rest of his life.
The boy’s parents said the mistake was devastating.
“I was very distressed, it was an awful disaster for a simple operation they destroyed everything and they ruined my son,” his father said.
“They castrated him and now my son’s future life has dramatically changed.”
Officials at the hospital apologized for the tragic mishap, saying that they should have had safety procedures in place to prevent it from happening.
“As soon as our staff members realized what had happened, they met with the family, told them what happened, and apologized again at that point,” a hospital spokesperson said.
“I would like to reiterate that we take patient safety extremely seriously here and also the quality of our clinical care.”
The boy's mum says she 'has no more tears' https://t.co/hWL0Fs7lMD
— Bristol Live (@BristolLive) December 21, 2018
This is not the first time that doctors have made a tragic miscalculation during a surgery. In Russia, doctors who were conducting emergency surgery to amputate the foot of an elderly Holocaust survivor accidentally amputated the wrong leg. As Newsweek reported, the 89-year-old woman was suffering severe gangrene on her foot and was scheduled to have it amputated. When the woman’s son visited after the surgery, he noticed that the surgeons had taken the wrong leg entirely, and accused hospital staff of trying to cover it up.
“My wife and I were allowed to go to her room. We go in and find that…they amputated the other leg. Not the right, but the left at the mid-thigh!” the son told a local news website.
The doctors involved in the surgery were placed under investigation.
In England, officials at the Bristol Royal Hospital for Children said the accident that left the 2-year-old boy castrated is now under investigation as well.