Avoiding surgery on the wrong body part

Submitted on Wednesday September 18th, 2013
kate b reynolds

Surgical errors are alarmingly common. They can include the wrong procedure or the wrong person. Or surgery on the wrong body part, such as the left hip instead of the right! The government calls these errors "never events," because they shouldn't ever happen.

The good news? Communication is the best prevention. You can play a well-defined role in ensuring your loved one doesn’t become the wrong kind of statistic!

Use the following guide to support your relative on the day of surgery, in either an office or hospital setting.

  • Ask about surgical protocol. Inquire about the steps or checklist the doctor and his or her team use to prevent errors. The best answer is the “Universal Protocol” issued by the Joint Commission.

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