Inova Fairfax Hospital, Falls Church, Va., admitted that a patient has died as a result of receiving incorrectly matched blood. The unidentified patient underwent a surgical procedure on July 23 that required a blood transfusion and died the next day. In a written statement, the hospital said a technician did not follow established procedures for patient identification and took a blood sample from the wrong patient the day before the scheduled surgery. Accuracy of patient identification when taking blood samples was one of six patient-safety goals established last year by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations. The JCAHO requires two methods of identifying patients, neither of which can be a patient's room number. An Inova Fairfax spokeswoman said the hospital requires employees to check a patient's wristband and receive a verbal acknowledgement of identity from the patient. The hospital immediately informed the family of the error but did not issue a public statement until today. -- by John Morrissey
Va. hospital addresses fatal blood-matching error
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