Surgery: Avoiding Mixups (Wrong Site, Wrong Procedure, Wrong Patient)
Three things should happen when you are prepared for surgery that will ensure you’re not the victim of a mixup:
- The staff does a pre-procedure verification process to make sure you are the right patient.
- The surgeon marks the procedure site before the procedure is performed. This is also called “sign your site.”
- The OR personnel perform a “time out” at the start, where everyone introduces themselves in the operating room and everyone makes sure they’re all there for the same purpose.
One more tip: One source of wrong site surgery, in addition to paperwork mixups, is when the surgical team does not have imaging studies in the operating room with them. You should confirm in advance that they will have the images with them in the OR.
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