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Surgical Errors…Watch Out!

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Uh oh! If you are having a surgery some time soon you may not want to read this!!

Apparently surgical mess-ups are a lot more common than we thought they were.

According to a study, over a period of 6 and a half years, doctors in Colorado alone operated on the wrong patient at least 25 times and on the wrong part of the body in another 107 patients.

Catastrophic surgical errors are a lot more common than everyone thinks, explains Dr. Martin Makary, from Johns Hopkins University, in Baltimore.

Overall, one-third of the mistakes led to long-term negative consequences for the patient. One patient even died of lung complications after an internist inserted a chest tube in the wrong side of his body.

However, only about 22% of these mistakes made led to malpractice claims or lawsuits.

The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons has created an initiative called "Sign Your Site." This project encourages surgeons to initial the actual surgical site before operating.

The Joint Commission, a nonprofit group, has also developed a protocol for surgeries that could help. It involves having a presurgery "time out,” which the surgical team double-checks that the patient and site are correct.

This is not very comforting to know how much mix-ups like this happen in hospitals. Everything possible should be done to prevent this!!

If we go in for a knee surgery, we don’t want to come out with one leg!!!

[Image via WENN.]

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