EDGEFIELD COUNTY, S.C. (WJBF) — An Edgefield County woman is having problems with medication mix-ups and misdiagnoses because she shares the same information as another woman.
“So, what happens if something should happen to me out there in that street and my children are not there, or my family members are not there, and they can’t say, oh no, that’s the wrong one,” Dorothea L. Tucker-Taylor told NewsChannel 6’s Aiken Bureau Chief Shawn Cabbagestalk about the issue.
She says the issue started after moving from New York to South Carolina in 2000. Her name and birthdate are similar to another woman’s. Their middle initials and social security numbers are not. That caused a few medication mix-ups and emergency room issues.
“I’m looking at the ceiling, talking to the ceiling, but I was saying, please listen to what my child is saying. And so I asked her, I said, could you give me the social? She said I’m not allowed to do that. I said, well, let me give you mine. And when I gave her mine, she said, oh my God, stop the IV.”
Reports from the medical watchdog group ECRI Institute show providers frequently misidentify patients for procedures, sometimes with deadly results.
“I believe it is no question about it. Her life can be in danger, plus the other person so that both the victims unless is clarified,” Rep. Bill Clyburn added.
Local hospitals NewsChannel 6 spoke with say safeguards, like checking a patient’s photo I-D, are in place. “
Someone from administration told me to have a picture made up of myself and have them attach it to my records. I did just that. It was a 5×7. There’s no way they couldn’t say they didn’t see the picture, okay? But they lost it,” Tucker-Taylor added.
“There needs to be some kind of identification, that will be accepted, approved, and accepted by the drugstore, the hospital there needs to be some type of identification that will separate the two,” Rep. Clyburn said.
Medical advocates propose requiring staffers to match bar codes to patient wristbands before administering medications and performing procedures.
“First step is that we need to find out from the State Hospital Association how we can solve this issue. And we may have to put forth some type of legislation, that will help solve this, problem permanently,” he added.