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Patient Mishaps

The health care systems of Ireland and Britain are comparable in terms of design structure. They are also comparable in terms of procedures.

It is instructive and chastening therefore to find this from the National Patient Safety Agency in the UK:

Between February 2006 and January 2007, the NPSA received 24, 382 reports of patients being mismatched with their care. It is estimated that more than 2,900 of these related to wristbands and their use. Standardising the design of patient wristbands, the information on them, and the processes used to produce and check them, will improve patient safety.

What this means is that 24,382 patients received the wrong treatment. “Treatmentâ€? extends to operations. The patient might therefore have been operated on under the mistaken impression that he/she was somebody else.

These cases are the mistaken identity cases attributable to error connected to wristbands. It does not relate to all such errors.

Ireland does not have a structure like the National Patient Safety Agency,