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Patient Safety Authority Reports on Wrong Site Surgeries

Although reports of wrong-site surgeries have decreased in 2007, the Patient Safety Authority is finding that many mistakes could have been prevented if the correct protocols were followed.

In December 2007, the Patient Safety Advisory published the Patient Safety Advisory, which took a closer look at the subject of wrong-site surgeries.

Authority Analyzes Ongoing Problem

The authority reportedly visited six volunteer hospitals and found that four of them had at least one report of a wrong-site surgery within two and a half years.

The other two hospitals had no reports of wrong site injuries occurring.

“From our recent observations, wrong-site errors usually result from either misinformation prior to the patient getting into the operating room or misperceptions of hospital staff once the patient is in the operating room,” explains Dr. John Clarke, the clinical director of the Patient Safety Authority.

“Misperception can occur from confusion regarding right or left and the failure to question authority, among other reasons.”

Variations in Protocol for Preventing Accidents

According to Dr. Clarke, there were several variations among facilities regarding how they implemented the Joint Commission’s Universal Protocol for Preventing Wrong-Site, Wrong Procedure, and Wrong Person Surgery.

“We noted that wrong-site surgery errors were associated with the failure to identify incorrect information in the documents related to surgery, such as the schedule, consent and patient’s history,” says Dr. Clarke.

(Source: PRNewswire)

Have you been the victim of a wrong-site surgery? Please contact us today to speak with a trustworthy attorney who will evaluate your case and ensure that you are given the legal guidance you need and deserve for this medical mistake.

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