TWO hospital patients, who were given incorrect test results after being caught up in a health nightmare, have died.
But officials at the Wrexham Maelor Hospital say they are confident the errors did not affect the treatment provided.
News of the deaths comes as the hospital announced at a press conference on Wednesday that a number of tissue test errors by locum Dr Roger Williams were confirmed at the Histopathology Department at Wrexham Maelor Hospital on September 5, 2007.
A trust spokesman said: “While I cannot disclose the specific causes of death, we are confident the errors did not have an affect on the treatment provided for those patients.”
Errors came to light after a new double checking procedure was introduced by North East Wales NHS Trust in May.
Initially, 10% of his cases were reviewed. This led to all 4,500 diagnostic reports between April 2006 and September 2007 being checked.
On reviewing these cases, the hospital identified two of the patients who have since died.
Three other patients told they had nothing to worry about when, in fact, their samples showed signs of cancer, are undergoing treatment.
The family of one of the three patients are seeking legal advice.
Twelve more misreported cases have been identified and the trust is contacting those patients.
A further 10% of tests going back to October 2004 are being looked at. If a similar error rate is found, all will be checked.
In a statement, the trust said: “We would like to reassure patients we’re using all possible resources to investigate every case and to contact affected patients as quickly as possible.”
Trust chief executive Mary Burrows said: “I was told about this case on September 6 and discussed it with the department and the pathologist stepped down.”
Tissue samples are being re-examined at the Countess of Chester hospital