A "devastated" doctor who was involved in a laboratory mix-up that led to one woman needlessly losing a breast and another being subjected to a delayed cancer diagnosis has pleaded for their forgiveness.

Unnamed in Health and Disability Commissioner Anthony Hill's report on the cases this week, "Dr H" said: "To both women involved in this grave error, please accept my sincere apology for the error which led to the harm caused to both of you."

Read more:
Breast cancer mix-up still a mystery
Cancer-gaffe doc to women: Please forgive me

Here are four other medical mishaps that have been reported this year:

Baby's death: Trainee specialist 'out of my depth' in horror delivery

March 2015:


A newborn girl died soon after a horror delivery, for which a trainee specialist admitted to being "out of my depth".

The newly employed registrar doctor was subjected to "adverse comment" by Health and Disability Commissioner Anthony Hill in a released decision. But he made stronger criticisms of a specialist obstetrician and the specialist's employer, Wellington's Capital & Coast District Health Board.

Read more:

Baby's death: Trainee specialist's horror delivery
Baby's death: Doctor 'out of her depth'

Mental health patient given wrong medication

March 2015:

A part-time community support worker whose negligent actions led to a mental health patient taking someone else's anti-psychotic medication was found in breach of health and disability standards.

In a report released from deputy health and disability commissioner Theo Baker, the community support worker - known as Mr A - was found in breach of the Health and Disability Services Consumers Rights' code after his failure to check medication resulted in the hospitalisation of a 61-year-old male patient from a residential health service.

The patient, referred to as Mr B, was incorrectly given three different types of medication - one of which was a high dose of the anti-psychotic drug clozapine - by Mr A on March 4, 2013, about a month after he moved to the residential service.


Read more: Mental health patient given wrong medication

Overdose toddler's mother: 'Is this the last time I'm going to see my son?'

February 2015:

The father of a child who was given 10 times the normal dose of codeine said his distraught wife couldn't forgive herself for not stopping the nurse who administered the "huge, big syringe".

Graeme Dagg also revealed he had to pay to save his son's life because the mishap happened in a private hospital - which meant he was billed for pumping his son's stomach.

His son was supposed to be given 8.5mg of codeine before a routine operation to remove his adenoids and tonsils, but he was given 85mg after both a nurse and senior nurse misread the prescription.

Read more:
Toddler given overdose of codeine
Overdose toddler's mother: 'Is this the last time I'm going to see my son?'

Elderly man died after being prescribed high-dose opioid

February 2015:

The case of an 82-year-old who died after being prescribed a high-dose opioid has been given as an example of why better medical understanding is needed.

Associate Health Minister Peter Dunne spoke of the case to a new group established to address opioid harm.

"Recently an 82-year-old patient with kidney impairment was prescribed high-dose oxycodone to take home," Mr Dunne said.

"Very sadly, two days later they were found unresponsive in their home, and then died due to complications associated with opioid toxicity."

Opioids are a class of medicines that include morphine, methadone and oxycodone.

Read more: Elderly man died after being prescribed high-dose opioid

- nzherald.co.nz