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A slip of the finger when texting someone could lead to some significant problems if you’re not careful, and a GP surgery is learning the hard way.
Askern Medical Practice in Doncaster meant to text their patients “we wish you a very merry Christmas and a Happy New Year” but instead sent a text informing people they had cancer.
“[Redacted] has asked for you to do a DS1500 for the above patient. Diagnosis- Aggressive lung cancer with metastases,” the message read.
DS1500 is a form terminally ill patients fill out to apply for benefits.
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An hour after sending the alarming text message, the medical practice apologized for the message sent in error and wished their patients a happy holiday season.
But the damage had already been done with patients scrambling to understand if they were meant to receive the message.
According to the BBC, the surgery center has nearly 8,000 patients.
Several patients said they were confused and scared by the text message.
"The first thing I thought was, 'is this some kind of sick joke?' Carl Chegwin told BBC. "It completely took me by surprise... It's not often I go to the doctors, then out of the blue, it's cancer."
Another woman said went straight to the doctor's office to get more answers where she saw "six people all there panicking as they had got the same text."
Similar incidents have occurred regarding serious situations.
In 2018, residents in Hawaii received a false alarm text message that a ballistic missile was headed toward Hawaii leading to widespread panic.
This is when Apple's 'unsend message' feature would come in handy.
We reached out to Asken Medical Practice for comment.
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