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Failure to verify identity can result in surgical errors

Verifying a patient's identification is one of the first steps any hospital or medical establishment in Delaware must make prior to administering any type of treatment. When there is a failure to establish identity, medical and surgical errors can occur. Any medical error is dangerous because many cannot be undone. One hospital in another state treated the wrong patient for hours and has been accused of refusing to verify any identification or medical records.

The 63-year-old man had just completed a work shift when he was approached by some officers and crisis medical workers. He was asked his name, and he responded only to be arrested and taken to the hospital. The man states that he was informed that a man by his name had been to a doctor earlier in the morning threatening to harm himself and others. Although the man clearly knew it was a case of mistaken identity, he could not convince the officers to check his identification and call his co-workers or his family to confirm that he was not the intended patient. 

At the hospital, hospital employees allegedly also refused to verify his identity. The man alleges that a request to check his medical records at the hospital was refused by the doctor. At one point, the man threw his wallet and identification at an officer, only to be administered an antipsychotic and sedative. By the time the man's daughter arrived to confirm that they had the wrong patient, the man was in a drugged state. Apologies were made by the hospital and by the health crisis workers, and both also gave small value gift cards. 

Fortunately, the man did not suffer irreversible injuries as a result of the medical establishment's alleged failure to correctly identify him. He did, however, suffer emotional trauma because of the incident and has filed a lawsuit against involved parties. People who suspect they may have suffered medical or surgical errors due to medical staff's failure to properly verify identification could benefit from a Delaware attorney reviewing the details of his or her case. Enough evidence may exist in some cases to warrant a lawsuit in civil court to help recover any financial loss as a result of medical errors.

Source: The Washington Post, "Confused hospital injected antipsychotic drugs into wrong man, lawsuit alleges", Derek Hawkins, Jan. 4, 2018

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