Misdiagnosis Australia Style

If you don’t think mistakes happen in the mental health field the following story from Top News, Man Drugged After Being Mistaken For Escaped Psychiatric Patient, should prove enlightening.

A patient escaped from Perth’s Graylands Mental Hospital at some point in the middle of December.

Police, on December 16, discovered another person who matched the description given by the hospital and he was taken to Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital and was kept there over the night. He was given the anti-psychotic drugs which made him ill.

A man misidentified as an escaped mental patient was hospitalized and drugged. Two days later the real escapee returned to the hospital and, oh oh, then the cat was out of the bag.

The real patient who had escaped returned to the hospital on December 18 and it was then the hospital realized that they have committed [a] mistake in identifying the man. The Minister for Mental Health, Helen Morton has now apologized to him for the huge mistake.

Helen Morton says the people responsible for this misadventure should be held accountable. I suppose that also means the possibility of a sizable financial settlement from the threat of civil litigation for some lucky cuss.

Now whatever “disorder” the man nabbed on the 16th actually had, that information isn’t being released to the public.