Jan 27, 2015 07:36PM WinningSoFar wrote:
Blessings come from unexpected places don't they.
Talk with others about bone density, osteopenia and osteoporosis, and ways to keep your bones strong
Posted on: Jan 27, 2015 07:29PM
I am still in utter shock at the story I am about to share with you. My father has been dealing with prostate cancer for about 8 years now. Recent x-rays have revealed metastasis to his bones, specifically left femur and hip. Lately he's been needing a cane to help with stability and fall prevention. His onc suggested radiation to his femur for obvious reasons, which he reluctantly agreed to. So yesterday he and my mom met with the onc to discuss final preparations for rads. The onc had all his x-rays lined up on a viewing box to show the progression of the mets since 2002 (date of his first x-ray)
The onc is discussing typical protocol for rads, etc while my parents are glued to the x-rays. Finally when the onc takes a breath and asks my parents if they have any questions, they simultaneously ask "whose x-rays are those and why are you showing them to us" The onc is puzzled and says, "yours" to my father... who promptly replies, I don't have any metal hardware in my leg or hip, you got the wrong guy.
Sure enough, there's another guy at the same clinic with the exact same name. Now, it's not like my father's name is John Smith, but seriously, they got the wrong guy? There's some poor fellow out there with extensive bone mets who's probably thinking he's doing so well, all the while my father's practically got one foot in the grave thinking his cancer's spread.
Instead of being angry or upset, my father's giddy and upbeat with a much better dx and prognosis than just an hour earlier. I think it's just scary that a huge mistake like this can be made and not just once but over the past 13 years.
My story has a happy ending, at least for my father who's choosing to look at this like a miracle. Anyway, just had to share.
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Posts 1 - 24 (24 total)
Jan 27, 2015 07:36PM WinningSoFar wrote:
Blessings come from unexpected places don't they.
Jan 27, 2015 07:41PM glennie19 wrote:
Amy,, very happy that this is not your dad! But wow,,, you are right,, some poor guy out there is thinking things are ok,,, and they are not.
My name is really common,, and I am used to giving my birthdate or other identifier to be sure that they have the right one. Once I was asked if I had my diabetes med that morning,, and I'm like,,, NOT diabetic,,, response: OH,, this is the other one's chart,,, Great,,,,
Jan 27, 2015 08:06PM dlb823 wrote:
Wow, Amy! That is shocking! So happy it turned out well for your Dad, but WOW. I guess it's a good lesson for all of us re. the potential for mixups!
Jan 27, 2015 08:42PM doxie wrote:
I have the same name as someone else at the clinic/hospital at which I get care. I have to use my middle name and make sure they have the right person. This has been going on since 2003! Again, our names are not a common combination. The woman is 30 years older than me and maybe not even alive now. They cannot tell me. So this is a real problem for many people.
Thank heavens your dad was ok AND did not go through treatment. Very unfortunate that someone else is not.
Jan 27, 2015 08:43PM aunt_paula wrote:
Oh wow. I had colon cancer years ago, and after some issues that caused concern, had some tests done to see if it had spread. I was pretty surprised when the nurse called and told me I had prostate cancer. I told her there were lots of things I was not at all sure about, but I was absolutely sure prostate cancer was not my problem! I laughed about it, but it really is scary. I'm glad your dad got better news than he expected.
Jan 27, 2015 08:59PM - edited Jan 27, 2015 08:59PM by suemed8749
I love my MO and his entire office, but after I finished Herceptin I had a PET scan, and his PA read the results to me which were wonderfully boring. I followed along with relief until she read the dateline - uh, that was NOT when I had the PET. She double checked, and it was, indeed, the report for someone else with my very common name. Thankfully my report was equally boring, but pretty scary that they mixed the two up and I only corrected it by listening to the date.
Jan 27, 2015 09:26PM - edited Jan 27, 2015 09:42PM by AmyQ
Thank you for your responses and well wishes. I too questioned my father about the name, date of birth thing and his middle initial. Apparently all patients at this clinic either have a middle initial M or F - M for male and F for female - well as it happens my father's middle initial is M for Michael so all his records, xrays say his full name M and last name. Too weird - I think they should look at revamping their system.
Aunt Paula so you have prostate cancer, huh? That too is funny.
Jan 27, 2015 09:29PM glennie19 wrote:
OMG, Aunt Paula,,, it's sorta funny,, but not,,, at the same time, if you know what I mean!!
Amy,, that is crazy system to use the Sex as the middle initial. They really need to change that.
When I was in the 8th grade,, there were 3 of us with the same name,, and only the middle names were different,, we had to use middle initials all the time.
Jan 28, 2015 01:01PM BookWoman wrote:
At all my doctors, hospital, etc. they always ask for date of birth and confirm the address and phone number--they do this for everyone with or without a common name. So far it seems to have worked at least for me. Some of these stories are really scary!
Amy, glad you father is ok. Is there any explanation for his stability issues?
Jan 28, 2015 01:09PM GraceB1 wrote:
When I had my first bone density scan done last summer I was told that it hadn't change from my first one 10 years ago. I had never seen the doctor that ordered the first scan and that was not my test result. They still won't change it in my medical records because it's the same patient ID number.
Jan 28, 2015 03:19PM Trvler wrote:
I guess I should stop being annoyed that EVERY time I check in anywhere, they ask my name and birthdate. :)
I am glad your dad isn't the one having the treatment though.
Jan 28, 2015 03:27PM AmyQ wrote:
Thanks ladies. Regarding his needing a cane, he's definitely fighting arthritis issues and he's 83 years old. The cancer has taken a lot of life and energy out of him which ends up being a vicious cycle. Up until 2 years ago, my parents were extremely active going from their home in the Pacific NW to their place in the Florida Keys to their cabin in Northern Minnesota. They also had a boat which they would use to go to Alaska up the inland passage way AND a motor home which they'd drive all over the country. They fished, dug clams, set out crab pots to catch Dungeness Crabs, the list goes on and on. I was always so impressed by my parents energy and wherewithal - I was actually a little ashamed of my own lack of ambition and energy by comparison.
Now all that's changed with the cancer. My folks have sold their properties except the family home. No more boat but dad will not give up the motor home. I think he likes "knowing" he still has it and can drive it where ever and when ever he likes. Anyway, it's sad to see the decline but I still have my parents and I know I'm lucky in that regard.
Jan 29, 2015 03:17PM tgtg wrote:
Wow, Amy! What happened to your father is many things at once--both a frightening red flag about our health system's weaknesses and a funny script worthy of a sitcom (as long as it is fiction, which it wasn't), and a testimony to people's carelessness in doing their jobs and also a testimony to the mental sharpness of your 83-year-old parents who picked up what the radiologist overlooked. I am happy for your dad, but worried about the other patient whose health is deteriorating because of the careless mistake.
I wonder why all hospitals and medical providers don't do what is standard around here--ask for name and date of birth before anything is done, even having a patient step on a scale! This routine procedure reached comic status one day halfway through my rads--the techs greeted me with a joyous "Happy Birthday, Trudi" and hugs, and then asked me for my full name and date of birth! But that comedy is far safer than Aunt Paula's miraculously acquiring a prostate gland or your dad's mental anguish--however temporary--at the [mistaken] news of mets and his acquisition of hip hardware.
There's a lesson for all of us in your story--thanks for sharing it. Trudi
Feb 8, 2015 02:06PM - edited Feb 8, 2015 02:19PM by otter
Amy, I read your story about your dad a few days ago, and re-read it today, and it still makes me nauseous. At first I thought it was just the most recent set of films that had been mixed up...but, it was THIRTEEN YEARS??!! No way would I have gone away quietly, if that had been my dad (and family) suffering under the mistaken impression that he had bone mets when he didn't. But, that's me, and I get hot-headed. Thank goodness there are people out there who handle mistakes more gracefully.
After I re-read your story this morning, I read it to Mr. otter, who, with me, has endured too much illness and death of elderly loved ones these past years. His first reaction?: "So, their names were identical? What about their BIRTH DATES?"
Still, I find this confusing and very disturbing. Wouldn't there have been a mismatch between the case/patient numbers on the films, and the number in your dad's medical file, or did they get those mixed up as well? I'm pretty sure I would have contacted a higher-up-type person, to make sure the medical center took action to prevent this from ever happening again.Sheesh.
Feb 8, 2015 02:38PM Becky63 wrote:
The other gentleman has a malpractice suit. His false records, your dad's, indicated that he was not as ill as he apparently is. His treatment did not following protocol most probably. Your father needs to alert the state's ombudsman. I am joyful for your father, but sad for the life altering news the other fellow will be receiving. Please, don't let this slide under the carpet.
Feb 8, 2015 02:49PM AmyQ wrote:
Becky and Otter, if you knew my father you'd be shocked by his behavior in this regard. Instead of making a big deal about it and trying to right an egregious wrong, he jumped for joy and was ever-so-grateful. He's looking at this as a "miracle" but I tried to point out how awful it is for the other fellow and while he agrees, he doesn't think there's anything he can do.
I questioned the clinic/hospital record system too for their checks and balances, or lack there of but my father is stubborn and in this case doesn't want to make waves. I'm traveling to WA where my parents live in two weeks, so will discuss this further, but I cannot shake the sadness and anger for the "other" guy.
Thanks to everyone who has responded. This is just a small example of failures, even with high-tech computer systems. I guess it always boils down to the people entering the information.
Feb 9, 2015 07:56PM MagicalBean wrote:
Wow. My clinic always does the name/DOB verification. My Gastro office even has my photo on the electronic chart as an additional safeguard. I worked in a Dr. ofc for several years, and you'd be surprised how many people have identical names. It's so easy to mix them up, and so very important to take the time to be sure.
Feb 9, 2015 08:58PM jarris77 wrote:
This kind of mix up must happen more than we realize. My brother works for an insurance company and was investigating a claim when he fell on ice and suffered some pretty severe injuries. While hospitalized, a nurse came in and was about to give him an injection. He asked what it was and they told him it was his insulin. He is not diabetic. Not sure what the consequences would have been, but it's pretty scary that these things happen so often.
Feb 9, 2015 09:25PM sas-schatzi wrote:
jarris this is all blowing my mind. But with your brother can't even begin to tell you how many rules that nurse broke. Her license should be yanked.
Feb 10, 2015 12:15AM dlb823 wrote:
My mother-in-law, a retired RN, has multiple times stopped nurses and others from giving her the wrong meds. In one instance, it could have been life-threatening. Always, always, always ask what you're being given in that IV or pill, and if you're not sure why you're getting it, ask!
Feb 10, 2015 07:28AM DivineMrsM wrote:
In this day and age, there really should be photo IDto accompany medical test results, ect. It is one more way to cross check to ensure the right match up to patient with medical care and is the strongest visual check.
Feb 10, 2015 10:04AM MagicalBean wrote:
I agree. Photo ID should be standard.
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