Sometimes a coincidence comes as a nice surprise; other times, a coincidence can bring with it unpleasant consequences. When the coincidence involves two individuals with the same name being patients in the same hospital at the same time, the possibility of unpleasant consequences unfortunately seems to increase. While the possibility of this happening to New Jersey residents is unlikely, it did recently happen in a nearby state, and the hospital is now facing allegations of hospital negligence.
Apparently, the problems began when the second patient was admitted to the hospital. Part of this patient's information and surgery plan were mixed up with the other patient's information. This second patient was later taken into surgery, and a healthy kidney was removed. Doctors began to suspect that there was a problem when the kidney did not appear to be tumorous; this was confirmed by the hospital's pathology department.
An investigation into this incident revealed that there were a number of cases in which problems were present. It appears that there was an underlying problem in communication during surgery preparation procedures. Important information and reports were not being made available prior to surgery preparation. In addition to possible civil action, this hospital is also at risk of losing its Medicare and Medicaid status as a result of this and the other problems which have now surfaced.
New Jersey patients expect to receive quality, accurate treatment when they enter a hospital. It is a basic assumption that the planned surgery is the one that will actually take place. If this does not happen, there is a possibility that hospital negligence is the reason. In this case, the patient and/or family may want to pursue legal remedies to the situation.
Source: masslive.com, "St. Vincent Hospital could lose Medicare, Medicaid after botched kidney removal", Phil Demers, Oct. 14, 2016