* * Anonymous Doc

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


This 136-year-old female from the nursing home was admitted by her overbearing family for no particular reason. She arrived complaining of leg pain caused by her 102-year-old daughter dragging her into the car to come to the hospital. There was also evidence of the patient's breakfast on her face and clothing.

Intravenous fluids and antibiotics were administered in the ER after she was confused with another patient with a similar name. She was transferred to the OR for a gastric bypass procedure by mistake. The procedure was a success and the patient has thus far dropped from 109 pounds to 67. Her post-operative course has been unremarkable.

An echocardiogram performed for no apparent reason was misread and the patient was transferred to the telemetry floor. She was inadvertently left in the elevator for sixteen hours. A urine sample was collected from the floor of the elevator. It was positive for everything.

The patient was intubated seventeen times after being mistakenly wheeled to the medical student skills lab and switched with a cadaver. After being extubated for the final time, she was dropped on the floor. Structural testing on the floor revealed no damage. However, a CT of the brain revealed contusion of the frontal lobe along with evidence of leftover medical supplies from the gastric bypass which had apparently traversed the blood-brain barrier.

The patient underwent brain surgery to remove the medical supplies. We are currently unsure who performed the procedure; neurology claims no knowledge and the records have been misplaced. Nevertheless, the procedure was deemed a success. The patient remained clinically stable for thirteen minutes until she was accidentally lit on fire by occupational therapy.

The fire was extinguished using the patient's lab results, which had not yet been reviewed and cannot be located on the computer. We operated under the assumption her lab values were entirely abnormal and started her on a course of everything.

In a separate incident, patient's left cornea was removed due to a clerical error.

After a psych consult, patient was transferred to an empty closet on the 14th floor for three days. A urine sample was collected from the floor of the closet. It was positive for everything.

The patient expired on the morning of 3/25/11 from acute respiratory failure caused by accidental smothering. The patient was pronounced once again alive on the afternoon of 3/25/11 after we realized we had inadvertently recorded the death of the wrong patient. After being returned from the morgue, the patient underwent a preoperative workup and clearance for a cardiac transplant before being correctly identified and returned to her room.

Patient was discharged on 3/28/11. Discharge instructions were sent home with a different patient, but we have given him the patient's phone number and instructed him to swap paperwork at their earliest convenience.


She may shower but not bathe. She may eat but not swallow. She needs to keep her wounds wet. She needs to follow up in my office in 1 week for postoperative evaluation, and every week after that for continued insurance billing and maintenance. She is instructed to call for any problems of breath, lack of breath, breath sounds, bowel sounds, chest pain, no pain, any temperature greater than 0, foul-smelling drainage from her mouth, redness or swelling of the liver, or unexpected hearing loss.


The patient was given scripts for Assorted Medication Grab Bag #3.


Outlook not so good. Concentrate and ask again.


  1. Too funny! Except that these kinds of mistakes actually happen. When I was in the hospital in September, I came out with a comment saying I had Lewy bodies on an MRI scan, but there is no record of my ever having an MRI scan. So do I have Lewy bodies or not? Nobody seems willing to track that down for me, and I don't really know what to do. This is really not a joke.

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  3. rude awakening about the unnecessary mistakes medical professionals and hospital make..good eyeopener and self-reflection piece..

  4. I linked this one on my family's website.