Eight Ways To Prevent Wrong Site Surgery in Cleveland, Ohio May 23, 2012.
Wrong site surgery occurs when a surgeon operates on the wrong side of the body, the wrong patient, or performs the wrong procedure. To prevent these mistakes, the Ohio Hospital Association and the Ohio Patient Safety Institute consulted leading medical staff and created a procedural verification protocol that is divided into three basic parts:
- Pre-Op Verification – a patient’s identity is to be verified at several stages, including at the physician’s office during pre-op, before the patient enters the operating room (OR), and again upon entering the OR.
- Site identification – before anesthesia is administered, the surgery site should be clearly marked and confirmed.
- Time-Out – immediately prior to surgery, every person in the operating room should stop to verify the patient’s name, the site and marking, the procedure, the location of all necessary equipment, and any imaging data.
Once you are given anesthesia, there isn’t much you can do to prevent a surgical mistake from occurring. There are, however, steps you can take before the operation that may help. They include:
- asking a friend or relative to accompany you to the hospital, so that he or she can ask questions and remember information that you may forget;
- answering the surgeon, nurse, or anesthesiologist’s questions in a calm, clear manner when he or she asks your name and identifying information;
- making sure that everyone is clear on what is to be done and on which side of the body;
- requesting that the surgical site be marked before you are given anesthesia;
- familiarizing yourself with the surgeon;
- asking questions if you have concerns or need clarification;
- making sure your medical history is known by everyone involved in your care; and
- educating yourself about the procedure being performed.
You should feel comfortable with the surgeon and others who will be involved in the procedure. If you have any doubts or misgivings about what is to take place, say something.