Wrong Patient Loses Kidney After Hospital Mishap

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A surgeon at a Massachusetts hospital has mistakenly removed a kidney from the wrong patient after failing to confirm the patient’s identity.

Health investigators in the US say the surgeon was supposed to remove a kidney with a tumour from a patient at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester in July, but instead he removed a healthy one from a different patient with the same name. The surgeon examined a CT scan before the surgery and the scan showed the tumor on the kidney but it was from the wrong patient.

The mistake was not noticed until the kidney was removed and tests were done. Authorities said the hospital failed to follow proper patient identification protocols by checking the birth dates of the patients who were several years apart in age.

St. Vincent has been put on notice that its Medicare and Medicaid agreements with the government will be terminated unless it takes corrective action.

The hospital said in a statement that it is taking “all necessary steps” to prevent a similar error.

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