South African doctors have perfumed heart surgery on the wrong patient.
An 83-year old woman with a healthy heart was in hospital because of a respiratory infection.
A mix-up between two doctors resulted in here going under the knife for a procedure to remove excessive moisture around the heart.
The confusion occurred at a hospital in the diamond mining town of Kimberley.
A physician asked his surgeon colleague to take one of his patients to theatre for the heart operation.
He did not give the proper surname of his patient so Rita du Plessis was wheeled into the surgery in error.
Because she was unable to give permission for the operation herself, the surgeon had to contact her husband.
The physician only discovered the mistake later during ward rounds when he could not find Du Plessis and was told that she was in surgery.
When He called her family to apologise for the error, the surgeon had already called the family to tell them that the operation had been a success.
The Mediclinic Kimberley hospital where the incident occurred has apologised for the mix-up and has not charged Du Plessis for the unwarranted procedure.
The surgeon and the anaesthetist have also waived their fees.