Wrong Site Surgery Occurs 40 times a week


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Despite intense efforts to prevent wrong-site surgery in recent years, the adverse event "that should never happen" occurs about 40 times a week nationwide, according to the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare. The center announced the results of a project with 8 hospitals and ambulatory surgery centers. The facilities found that problems with scheduling and preoperative/holding processes, as well as ineffective communication and distractions in the operating room, contributed to increasing the risk for wrong-site surgery. Wrong-site surgery includes invasive procedures on the wrong patient in addition to wrong-procedure, wrong-site, and wrong-side surgeries.

Causes of Wrong Site Surgery

There are many causes leading to wrong site surgery. The stud also reveal that often numerous minor mistakes lead up to the surgical errors. Here are some of the errors listed in the wrong site surgery report.

  • Failure to mark location
  • Location marker washed off during prep
  • Varying protocols from different hospitals
  • Inconsistant "time outs"

Time Outs reduce Wrong Site Surgery

The 8 facilities found that addressing documentation and verification issues in the preoperative/holding areas decreased defective cases that increase the risk for wrong-site surgery from a baseline of 52% to 19%. In turn, the incidence of cases containing more than 1 defect decreased 72%. Time outs are a time set aside before surgery for all medical staff involved to stop, and ensure they have all the surgery information correct. It may be hard to believe, but there are times the patient never met the doctor and the first time the doctor learn of the procedure was when the patient was wheel in front of him/her. Physicians and hospitals are urged to view the joint commission's Targeted Solutions Tool, which provides a step-by-step process to measure performance. The first set of solutions focuses on improving hand hygiene. Procedure a like this are design to protect the doctor from litigation and the patient from surgical errors. When surgeon deviated from accepted standards of care, they may be liable of medical malpractice. Contact the a medical malpractice attorney if you suffered a surgical error. The Clore Law Group help victims of medical malpractice like wrong site surgery.

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