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A list of mistaken medical procedures

The Worcester campus of UMass Memorial Medical Center.
The Worcester campus of UMass Memorial Medical Center.Pat Greenhouse/Globe Staff

Hospitals and a surgery center reported to state public health officials that the following procedures were mistakenly done on the wrong patient.

2016

— An endoscopy was mistakenly performed on a patient at Newton-Wellesley Hospital. The procedure was meant for someone else, but staff accidentally entered the patient’s name on a request form.

— A nurse inserted a catheter into the wrong patient at Tobey Hospital. The nurse called out the correct patient’s name when she entered the room and this patient, an elderly woman, responded. The nurse did not check her identification band.

— An unneeded biopsy was done on a patient at UMass Memorial Medical Center. Staff confused him with another patient whose CT scan showed cancer.

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— An X-ray was performed on the wrong patient at UMass Memorial Medical Center. Staff apparently failed to verify the patient’s identity.

— A surgeon unnecessarily removed a kidney from a patient at Saint Vincent Hospital. The surgeon mistakenly relied on the CT scan of another patient with the same name who had a large kidney tumor.

— A physician in training performed an unneeded nasal scope on a patient to evaluate a sore throat at Brigham and Women’s Hospital. The resident clicked the wrong name on the computer, adding the patient to her list for the day.

2015

— Nurses inserted a catheter into the wrong patient at Massachusetts General Hospital. A new physician accidently ordered the procedure in the patient’s electronic medical record, rather than in the correct patient’s record.

— Cape Cod Eye Surgery & Laser Center doctors performed an eye procedure on a patient it wasn’t intended for. Staff apparently failed to properly confirm the patient’s identity.

— A cancer patient at Saint Anne’s Hospital was given radiation therapy intended for another patient. Staff failed to properly confirm the patient’s identity.

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2012

— A patient had an unneeded urological procedure at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. Staff did not check the patient’s identification bracelet on a very busy day in the clinic.

— Nurses at Boston Medical Center inserted a catheter into the wrong patient. Nurses did not verify the identity of the patient, who was in a room next door to a patient with a similar last name who needed the catheter.

2011

— Staff at UMass Memorial Medical Center inserted a catheter into the wrong patient. A doctor wrote the wrong name on the procedure order form.

— A patient who was supposed to have a colonoscopy at Holy Family Hospital underwent an unnecessary upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. A physician mistakenly brought the treatment plan for another patient with the same name into the operating room.

— A pathologist at Massachusetts General Hospital performed a biopsy on the wrong patient. The patient shared a room with a patient with the same first name who needed the biopsy, and the pathologist did not use a second piece of information to confirm identity.


Liz Kowalczyk can be reached at kowalczyk@globe.com.