Outpatient Surgery Magazine - Subscribers

Clear Cut - July 2015 - Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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4 4 O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E O N L I N E | J U LY 2 0 1 5 Are you marking the surgical site right? Our survey shows too much variability and plenty of room for improvement. N o one knows exactly how often a surgeon cuts into the wrong body part, but wrong-sided surgery hap- pens more often than you think, affecting hundreds of patients a year, sometimes with horrific conse- quences. In one widely publicized Florida case a few years ago, a series of mistakes by the OR team resulted in a doctor amputating the wrong leg. Hundreds more cases likely go unreported. A study in the Archives of Surgery (osmag.net/Tv8kUC) that says wrong-site surgery is underestimated by a factor of 20 or more estimates that there are 1,300 to 2,700 wrong-site procedures annually in the United States. A recent study in the JAMA Surgery (osmag.net/s9WSHq) suggests that it's about 1 in every 100,000 procedures. Wrong-site surgery is clearly closer to an everyday event than a "never event." And for that, we have inadequate site marking at least partially to blame. Either it's not being done or it's not being done as it should. Never ending? The Joint Commission has a set of guidelines for surgical facilities to follow to prevent wrong-site surgery: verify the surgical procedure to be performed, mark the surgical site in advance and take a "time out" immediately before starting the operation, during which team mem- bers verify that they've got the right patient and that they've marked the surgical site. It's been 11 years since the Joint Commission imple- Jim Burger Associate Editor

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