Singapore woman suffering from upset tummy gets warded for appendicitis after identity mix-up


An identity mix-up nearly had drastic consequences for a 32-year-old Singapore woman who visited Parkway East Hospital last Tuesday, 6 March.

The woman, Ms Chen, told the Chinese daily that she had experienced discomfort in her stomach on Tuesday morning when she visited her family doctor: “My stomach was feeling very painful on that day, so I rushed to my family doctor early in the morning. The doctor told me that I might have appendicitis and arranged for a medical checkup at the hospital.”

When Ms Chen reached the hospital, she was told that she would have to be warded. After the hospitalisation procedures were completed, Ms Chen underwent a blood test following which she was taken to a shared room on the fourth floor.

Ms Chen grew suspicious as she had requested a single room: “When they brought me to the room, I found that it was a shared room. I felt that something was off and told a nurse that I wanted a single room, not a shared one.”

It was at this point that the nurse rifled through some medical records, and asked Ms Chen, ‘Are you Ms Li?’

Ms Chen recounted:

“I don’t know how they could have made a mistake like that. They later brought me to the correct room and told me that I did not have appendicitis. I was discharged the following day. 
“However, I’m still afraid thinking about what had happened. If I hadn’t discovered that they had me mistaken for someone else, could I have taken some medication that I wasn’t supposed to, or even undergone a surgery?”

Ms Chen contacted the hospital about the mix-up once she was discharged and the hospital has since responded and apologised to her.

A hospital spokesman has reported that the investigation that began the same day the hospital was alerted to the incident has concluded and that the blood samples drawn from Ms Chen were not mixed up with samples drawn from another patient.


  1. Carelessness is existing in every hospital. I remember many years ago when we didn’t have influx of foreigners, a friend was given some medication meant for the patient who was discharged few hours ago. So much for competence. After all today its not about medical care and helping patients recover. Its all a business.

  2. Several incidents had happened in the past. But MOH / MinOH were silent about the matter. Or they were brought to public notice until very much later. The listeriosis breakout at SGH was swiftly announced. But this matter of mixed up must be brought to the Ministry and medical board. What if the patient was wrongly diagnosed ? THIS IS A VERY SERIOUS MATTER. Hope the Minister or the junior ministers be visible and deal with the issue

    • Seriousness is a matter of perspective. Counting the increasing number of mishaps and malpractices, probably they don’t think much of these issues. Moreover, the same owner is in the business of making law and providing healthcare. They are a familee. You can’t seriously be asking them to bite their own hands?

  3. Sinpor Style! Anybody tried TTSH? It was already quite late, the lights were dim.
    I asked and asked about my medicines.
    Later was told it’s on the table beside me.
    Scoop into my hand and felt strange, it was heavy.
    It turn out to nuts.

  4. I work in the healthcare sector. Always ask patient for name and nric before u carry out any registration or procedure. Some patient may find it irritating cos we keep asking the same thing but we need to ensure we are serving the right patient.

  5. Such screw-ups were almost never heard of before until recent years.
    We just had TB infections and contaminated blood reported not too long ago and now we have this!
    Dafts need to get use to paying top dollars for mediocre services !!
    This silly place has indeed arrived… to third world !!!

  6. Reply from Hospital blood sample no mix up

    we are talking about mixed up identity and the correct blood test will reach the wrong patient

    My advise is better skip this hospital (East)
    Another hospital to skip is Ng Teng Fong Hospital (West)

  7. Your life is cheap, it’s for on job training for cheap foreign workers before they move onto jobs in the first world. This is not the first major incident and won’t be the last. Count yourself lucky for choosing the right government. Stop KPKB.

  8. Why is it that the hospital at no time except at a late stage ascertain the identity of the patient? Is it because the nursing staff is a foreigner and she has difficulty in communicating with the patient?


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