A medical error resulted in the death of a high school student at the Japanese Red Cross Aichi Medical Center Nagoya Daini Hospital, the institution revealed Monday.

A resident physician had incorrectly diagnosed a 16-year-old male student with a digestive disorder in May 2023, leading to the teenager’s death, according to the hospital's announcement.

The resident physician noted abnormalities in the teenager's stomach during a CT scan but did not consult a senior physician.

The hospital revealed that the student was later found to have suffered from superior mesenteric artery syndrome (SMA syndrome), which causes a narrowing of the duodenum that leads to intestinal obstruction and gastric dilation.

Timely intervention, such as decompression via the insertion of a gastric tube, could have potentially saved the student's life, the hospital said.

On May 28, 2023, the high school student was taken to the emergency room after he complained of symptoms including vomiting. The resident physician conducted a CT scan, identified gastric dilation and diagnosed him as suffering from gastroenteritis before sending him home.

As the student's symptoms persisted the next day, he returned to the hospital where another physician — upon reviewing the previous day's CT images — suspected SMA syndrome.

Despite being hospitalized, the 16-year-old suffered a cardiac arrest early the following day due to dehydration, fell into a coma and died a couple of weeks later on June 15, 2023.

Hospital Director Koji Sato expressed deep regret at a news conference on Monday.

”We deeply apologize for failing to save a young patient with his whole life ahead of him,” he said.

The hospital said it plans to compensate the bereaved family.

Translated by The Japan Times