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:

  1. 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;
  2. answering the surgeon, nurse, or anesthesiologist’s questions in
    a calm, clear manner when he or she asks your name and identifying information;
  3. making sure that everyone is clear on what is to be done and on which side
    of the body;
  4. requesting that the surgical site be marked before you are given anesthesia;
  5. familiarizing yourself with the surgeon;
  6. asking questions if you have concerns or need clarification;
  7. making sure your medical history is known by everyone involved in your care; and
  8. 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.

Consulting with a Cleveland, Ohio Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you or a loved one has already suffered an injury due to
wrong site surgery,
contact us for a free consultation.