Mistaken Identity

  1. Ok ready for the long story.

    Two sixteen year old boys, took dad's car out for a joy ride at 3am. Neither kid has a license, so no ID. Well they went airbore hit a tree and the car split in two. They were transfered to a local hospital were there parents ID'd them as boy #1 and boy #2. Then both boys get transferd to my hospital (trauma hospital). The parents again ID'd then. There was no major facial trauma to either boy. Boy #1 died in the ER. Boy #2 is in SICU. The family then again ID'd boy #1.

    So Boy#1 family makes funneral arrangements while boy #2 family sits at bedside. Friends of boy #1 got to funneral and decied that doesn't really look like boy#1. But everybody dissmised it as swelling from the MVA. The grandmother of boy #2 goes to the funneral to pay her respect and tells the funneral director that, that is her grandson and she will bet her life on it. The funneral director call the coronor and he said well the family ID'd the body. But the grandmother was very persistent that that was her grandson so dental records were taken. Boy #1 ends up being boy#2.

    Some how the families ID'd the wrong boys. So while Boy #1 family was planning a funneral their son was in SICU. and while Boy#2 family was making major medicl decisions their son was being laid out in a casket. Ever the police at the scene knew the boys and ID'd them the right way. How could you not know what your own son looks like?

    I was just wondering is anybody has ever heard anything like this before. I will keep you all in touch about what happens.

    I know they are having a funneral for Boy#2 this week.

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    About NurseLKY

    Joined: Mar '02; Posts: 51; Likes: 4
    Charge nurse
    Specialty: 5 year(s) of experience in Med/Surg


  3. by   oramar
    A post like this was made quite sometime ago. It sounds familiar, other than that I can't say who or what or where.
  4. by   Mkue
    amy, that is very sad, i've never heard of anything like that before. thanks for sharing.

    how sad for both of the families.

    How awful for both families, Im sure it happens , we get jane and john does in surgery all the time , and Its scarey.
  6. by   fedupnurse
    How sad! Does seem hard to believe that the families couldn't tell them apart but after working Trauma a few years back, those families are so stressed out they literally can't see staright. maybe their stress level clouded their judgement. Maybe they asked one family first and they wanted their son to be alive so desparately that they said yeah that's him really believing that it was. Either way, it is a very sad situation. Do they think the other kid is going to live??
  7. by   shygirl
    So no blood tests were ordered even if there was a suspicion that they could be mistaken?

    No dental records? How about the clothes they were wearing? This all sounds strange to me. If it's true it's terrible.
  8. by   NurseLKY
    Who knows what clothes the kids were wearing since they snuck out of the house. Plus they were probably cut off in the ambulance. The families were sure so why would dental records be taken and maybe the families did not know their kids bllod type.

  9. by   Teshiee
    I have never heard of anything like that. Oh I can only imagine what both families were going through at that time. Very errie!!!!
  10. by   boggle
    Something similar happened in Lansing Michigan this past year.

    One part of the misidentification was the families identifying the boys. With the families' shock, the terrible injuries, and confusion over who was wearing what clothing there was an initial misidentification. BUT, the identities were not further checked by "authorities", and so the mistake remained. One boys body was later exhumed to confirm identity (mis-identity). It was all over the news. I believe there is litigation pending now.

    Just a few years ago, also in Michigan, (Lapeer? I think?not sure?) There were two teenage girls very badly injured in an automobile accident. The two friends were mistaken for one another for several days, even with the wrong family members holding vigil at their bedsides.

    They misidentity was cleared up when one of the girls had recovered enough to respond.

    Again the key to the misidentification was the extent of the injuries and confusion over the clothing. (who had borrowed who's clothing...)

    I can't imagine the heartbreak these families have gone through. There has to be a better way to identify people. I'm not for tatooing folks, or putting implants in like you do for pets, but, again, there has to be a better way.