Hospital removes kidney from the wrong patient

A hospital in Worcester, Massachusetts, St Vincent Hospital, has received backlash after surgeons mistakenly removed a kidney from the wrong patient after they did not follow proper patient identification procedures.

The surgeons removed a healthy kidney from the wrong patient on July 20. A 32-page report revealed that the unidentified patient was at the hospital to have a kidney removed due to a large tumor.
However, once the procedure began, doctors realized that there was no tumor on the patient’s organ. The organ was removed and sent to the pathology department, which confirmed the kidney did not have any tumor. The report explained:

‘It was later determined that the patient’s admission and plan for surgery to remove the tumorous kidney was based on another patient’s Computerized Tomography scan results, in error.’

A federal agency launched an investigation and found out that two patients with the same name had Computerized Tomography scans at a different hospital on the same day in June. The two patients’ birthdays were also close in years.

The investigation also discovered that the hospital did not follow proper procedures and found the facility was not in compliance with requirements for patient’s to have quality assessments.

It also found that the patient’s records did not have the CT scan report in it.  This is one of the methods hospitals are supposed to use to confirm a diagnosis.

The state Department of Public Health’s Division of Health Care Facility Licensure found the hospital was not in compliance with the standard of performance improvement, medical record services and surgical services.

A hospital spokeswoman, Ms Lyons, said that the facility is working to correct the issues and enhance safeguards flagged by the inspection.

‘This was a deeply unfortunate situation and we will take all steps necessary to prevent it from happening again,’ spokeswoman Erica Noonan said.

Some of the blame has been placed on the patient’s physician, who does not work at the hospital.
She added:

The patient’s doctor ‘misidentified the procedure the patient needed’ before being brought to the hospital.

Lyons was unable to say if the patient whose kidney was mistakenly removed received another.

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One time, there was a complaint about the hospital for putting an ID bracelet on a patient’s son rather than the patient.  This was allegedly due to a language barrier but it is unclear if an interpreter was ever used.

Source:Daily mail

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