Female patient was left to die suffering a heart attack after a name mix-up led hospital staff to believe her file read ‘do not resuscitate’
- A Perth woman was not resuscitated for four minutes
- She was mistaken for a patient with a similar name
Doctors at a private hospital delayed resuscitating a woman with a heart attack for several minutes after confusing her with another patient with the same first name.
The woman, in her 50s, suffered cardiac arrest while staying at Hollywood Private Hospital in central Perth.
Her CPR was delayed about four minutes after a staff member accidentally discovered she had a “do not resuscitate” order (DNR) on her file.
However, the file belonged to a woman in her 80s who resided in the same facility and had a similar health file name, The West reports.
Both women had the same first name and first letter of their last name.
A woman in her 50s who suffered a heart attack was not resuscitated for four minutes after her record was exchanged with a patient of the same name who had a ‘do not resuscitate’ order
A DNR order instructs health care providers not to intervene if a patient’s heart or breathing stops.
The woman in her 50s spent two weeks in hospital recovering from the incident before being discharged.
A Hollywood Private Hospital spokeswoman said it was “thoroughly investigating” how the two women’s files were exchanged.
It is clear that a member of staff took the wrong paper file into the patient’s room.
“The hospital understands that the patient, who has since been discharged, is recovering well,” said the spokeswoman.
“We await the outcome of the investigation and implement any recommendations.”
The Hollywood Private Hospital in Perth (above) said it is thoroughly investigating the case of mistaken identity
Mark Duncan-Smith, president of the WA branch of the Australian Medical Association, said the whole case of mistaken identity is “bizarre” and routine checks, such as looking at the woman’s wristband, should have prevented her delayed resuscitation.
It’s a routine medical checkup. Private or public, they are the same protocols with subtle variations,” he said.
“Each hospital needs to analyze the event and discover the errors or weaknesses and correct those systems to make sure they never happen again. Has it dropped at the system level? Or did it fall on the Individual level?’
Daily Mail Australia has contacted Hollywood Private Hospital for comment.