PATIENT MIXUPS AND MISCOMMUNICATION
We have previously written about cases in which our law firm was involved where the wrong patient received another’s patient’s physician ordered blood transfusion. We have also talked about physicians’ ordering medication for a patient with a known allergy to the medication simply because the doctor either failed to check the patient’s chart for documented medication allergies or where the chart failed to contain previously known drug allergies. These mistakes can kill you!
Now for some promising news. The Wall Street Journal reported today, in an article written by Laura Landro, that some hospitals in Pennsylvania have started to issue standard colored patient wrist bands which easily and quickly identify patients who are a “fall risk,” or have a documented drug allergy, or those whose charts contain a “Do Not Resuscitate” order by their physician. Bravo! Seems like a pretty simply solution to a potentially deadly problem!