Following the right patient identification procedures is necessary to make sure patients aren’t injured as a result of receiving the wrong treatment. If identification procedures aren’t followed, it can result in a patient going into a surgery that was meant for someone else or receiving the wrong medications. In this case, the staff at St. Vincent Hospital didn’t use the right procedures, and that led to a surgery being performed on a healthy patient. The patient had a healthy kidney removed, and the news didn’t say if the patient has been able to receive a new kidney as a replacement.
According to a report about the accident, which took place in July 2016, the patient was at St. Vincent Hospital because of a large tumor. However, it was found that the patient didn’t have a tumor on the kidney once the surgery was underway. It was found that the patient admission forms and the plans for surgery had been designed based on the computerized tomography scan that actually belonged to a different patient. An internal investigation that was performed at the hospital showed that the medical records of the patient being operated on didn’t even have a CT scan included.
During an investigation into medical errors at the hospital, there were other errors found as well. In one case, the hospital staff put an identification bracelet on a patient’s son instead of the patient. In another case, a radiology technician saw a patient who didn’t have an identification bracelet, breaking protocol. In cases like this, patients may be able to seek compensation for the errors, especially if they lead to severe injuries or disabilities.
Source: Telegram & Gazette, “Faulty ID methods led to surgical error at St. Vincent Hospital,” Elaine Thompson, Oct. 14, 2016