Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Despite efforts to avert - Wrong Site Surgery still occurs

Despite rules and regulations that have been echoed time and again from the many different efforts across this country, wrong site surgery cases are still occurring every day. Just Google the words "operated on wrong side" and you will get quite a few links to recent cases of surgery performed on the wrong site.

In Rhode Island last year, a hospital was fined $200,000 for wrong site surgery that occurred with 5 patients since 2007. The hospital was also ordered to install video cameras in the OR and staff it with a non-clinician "monitoring if surgeons are marking operation sites, and taking time outs to determine if the correct body part has been located for surgery"
This was the first time that the Rhode Island State Health Department has ever issued fines. See article.

Interesting though, is the lack of seriousness to this issue by the State Health Department as "Rhode Island Hospital has 45 days to install the recording equipment in its operating rooms and every doctor will be taped during surgery at least twice a year, reported the AP. It will be at the hospital’s discretion to advice surgeons if they are being monitored."

Surgeons will most likely get advance notice of the taping of two operations a year recorded for posterity making it useless for prevention.

Have you been a victim of wrong site surgery?

Related articles:
Wrong Site Surgery is a Never Event

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