March 7, 2008 / 5:24 PM / 9 years ago

Dead rodent stops operation

2 Min Read

LONDON (Reuters) - A patient was told there was no reason why he couldn't have surgery in a hospital, despite the smell caused by a dead rodent trapped in the building's ceiling.

Andrew Cowper was due to have an operation at the Queen Elizabeth II hospital in Hertfordshire when staff "were made aware of a dead rodent in the single storey unit's roof space," the hospital said in a statement.

The hospital said its experts concluded that the dead animal was outside the operating theater and posed no risk.

But "despite being told that the trust's infection control experts had stated that Mr Cowper was not being exposed to an infection risk, he decided not to proceed with the operation," it said.

Cowper, 19, told the Sun newspaper he had waited 11 months for the operation, and the doctor told him he could go ahead despite the stench.

"He said the smell didn't represent a health risk, but I was appalled," Cowper said. "I asked him: 'If you were me, would you have the operation?' He looked at me and said 'no', so I decided there and then I wasn't going to go ahead."

Editing by Steve Addison

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