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Friday, October 12, 2007

We were halfway down the hall before someone heard me yelling: A hospital transport error

It was 4 am, but Gillian Trumbull was wide awake. The 24-year-old Chicago woman knew she had to stay alert, having had many hospital stays.

She was waiting to be taken to a heart test. Instead, a hospital employee said he was taking her for dialysis, a treatment for kidney failure. He had confused Gillian with the patient in the next bed. He ignored Gillian’s protests and began wheeling her out the door.

"We were halfway down the hall before someone heard me yelling," she said. "A nurse manager said, 'She’s pretty lucid. I think she knows what she is saying.'"

Advice: Feel free to ask that a family member or patient advocate be with you, involved in your care.

Read another wrong patient story, or read Liz Szabo's source story in the Feb. 5, 2007 issue of USA Today.

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