Common Types of Patient Mix-Ups

Calling a patient by the wrong name may sound like a simple mistake and brief embarrassment. But the reality is that if it's a true patient mix-up, it could have devastating consequences. This is especially true when it comes to some of the most common types of patient mix-ups. 

Wrong Patient Medication Errors

There are many scenarios in which pharmacies, hospitals and healthcare providers make mistakes with medication. Improperly identifying the patient and/or drug can cause an error with serious consequences.

For instance, a doctor looks at the wrong medical records and prescribes a medication that interacts with another the patient is taking. Nurses are at risk of mixing up patients when administering medicine. This can happen when the nurse gives medication intended for one patient to his or her roommate.

Someone might affix the wrong label to a prescription in the pharmacy. Or someone on staff hands over the wrong prescription without verifying the name. These too could cause serious errors if a patient receives a dangerous drug or does not receive the correct treatment.

Wrong Patient Procedures

Another serious consequence of incorrectly identifying a patient is if he or she undergoes the wrong procedure. When this happens, it many times involves surgery. It can stem from patients having identical or similar names, for example. Others misread the chart and operate on the wrong body part. Not taking the time to verify the correct patient is on the operating table is another example.

Meanwhile, in the lab, biopsy samples may get mislabeled and a patient may undergo an unnecessary surgery as a result, or may not undergo a necessary surgery.

If the patient mix-up is the result of medical negligence, the patient or his or her family may file a malpractice claim if the patient suffered damages. The hospital and/or doctor could be liable, so set up an appointment with Jason R. Schultz to discuss if you have a valid case: 404-474-0804.

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