Wrong patient given diagnosis

Hospital letter mix up,David Lambert at his gate in Irton.Picture Richard Ponter 132718a
Hospital letter mix up,David Lambert at his gate in Irton.Picture Richard Ponter 132718a

A Scarborough Hospital patient was told he had suffered a probable massive internal bleed – with the wrong blood test result.

David Lambert, 69, has now raised major concerns about how this came about – and what happened to the other patient, also possibly called David, who he thinks may have been discharged.

The retired personnel manager, of Irton, said: “All I know is that the result definitely wasn’t mine.

“I was told that if I discharged myself, I wouldn’t have time to get back. So my main concern is what happened to the other patient.”

Mr Lambert, who receives regular blood transfusions following cancer treatment, was rushed to A&E after becoming unwell last week.

His blood count was found to be very low and a decision was made to give Mr Lambert four units of blood.

He then spent eight hours in A&E and was transferred to coronary care at around 7.15pm, and by 1.30am he had received just two units of blood.

Mr Lambert said: “The transfusions were recommenced around 9am. Throughout the whole time on the unit I was not seen or spoken to by a doctor or indeed by the ward sister. My requests for prognosis or information were ignored.”

When Mr Lambert told the male staff nurse he intended to discharge himself after the transfusion, it was suggested he should stay in for another 48 hours for tests.

Mr Lambert continued: “At 3pm, with my wife present, a doctor arrived knowing I was going to discharge myself.

“He advised against it and suggested I would be putting myself at risk and that should I leave, I may not have time to return.

“He eventually produced a blood test result showing a probable massive internal bleed. The blood test was from 7.40am on June 25, but no blood was taken from me at that time.

“The blood test was not mine and the results were not mine. Whose results are on my records and what has become of the patient they really belong to?”

Mr Lambert has since gone through the results with his GP, who confirmed the anomaly as it shows his blood count going down while being transfused.

He said: “It’s just really worrying. When they told me about the internal bleed it knocked me for six.

“It wasn’t until I looked at the time at the top of the results I realised something was wrong.

“The doctor said they would investigate it, but never admitted they were wrong.”

Linda Lambert, David’s wife, added: “I think it’s disgusting. Thankfully he’s fine now, but things like this just frighten you.

“The biggest fright of all is whose blood was it?”

A spokeswoman from York Teaching Hospital NHS Foundation Trust said: “We are concerned to hear of the issues raised by Mr and Mrs Lambert and, as with all concerns raised by patients, it will be followed up by the Trust to determine whether anything untoward has taken place.

“Patient safety is our highest priority. We have clear procedures to support this and to minimise risks.”