Gauze was left in a patient's body after a throat operation earlier this month - one of a growing list of recent medical blunders at public hospitals. The case was one of three disclosed yesterday, with the hospitals scrambling to explain how the mistakes had happened. The revelations added to the embarrassment of the Hospital Authority. In the incident with the gauze, the patient was being treated for cancer and underwent an operation to remove his larynx and pharynx on July 5 in United Christian Hospital. Doctors were unaware of the gauze until X-rays were taken on Thursday. They explained the situation to the patient and his relatives and apologised. An investigation is under way to see whether improvements can be made. The second blunder involved the injection of 10 times the dosage of an antidote to a patient undergoing surgery in July last year at Queen Elizabeth Hospital. An operating room nurse administered 300mg of Protamine - an antidote for anticoagulants - instead of the intended 30mg as prescribed during an operation on blood vessels for the 74-year-old man. The nurse discovered the discrepancy when she was about to input information about the dosage into the computer system. The surgeon was informed immediately and treatment was given. The patient was later sent to the intensive care unit for close monitoring even though the operation was successful and no complication was found, the hospital said. He was discharged three days after the surgery. Queen Elizabeth Hospital said that after an investigation, communication training on verbal prescription and counterchecking processes had been reinforced. 'Regular reminders to front-line staff on adherence to standard practice have been issued,' the hospital said yesterday. In the third case, a 51-year-old woman had a tube placed in her body on June 17 at Tseung Kwan O Hospital after she suffered an asthma attack. A nurse adjusted the endotracheal tube when the patient was taken to the medical ward. The following day, she was transferred to a private hospital. A doctor at the private hospital discovered that part of the suction catheter had been left inside her bronchus. When Tseung Kwan O Hospital was informed, the hospital expressed concern. Upon investigation, it believed that part of the tube had come loose accidentally when the nurse adjusted it. The Hospital Authority's chief executive, Shane Solomon, said his department would publicise future medical incidents in public hospitals. 'We are reviewing the system, trying to work out how we can identify, in an open and accountable way, the medical incidents,' he said yesterday. In another recent incident, a 21-year-old cancer patient died at Prince of Wales Hospital after receiving a chemotherapeutic agent by a spinal route instead of intravenously - prompting a global alert from the World Health Organisation. Earlier this week, Secretary for Food and Health York Chow Yat-ngok instructed the Hospital Authority to improve its management and staff morale.