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Ben Glass
Ben Glass
Attorney • (703) 584-7277

Wrong Patient, Wrong Side, Wrong Procedure

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According to a recent article in the Archives of Surgery, between 1300 and 2700 surgeries take place each year where either the patient, the correct body side or the actual procedure is mis-identified. Not surprisingly, reporting by the medical profession of these events of medical malpractice is almost non-existent, with most reports appearing in general newspapers and magazines.

The report in the Archives of Surgery concluded that these acts of complete carelessness by health care providers are preventable.:

Wrong-side/wrong-site, wrong-procedure, and wrong-patient adverse events, although rare, are more common than health care providers and patients appreciate. Prevention of WSPEs requires new and innovative technologies, reporting of case occurrence, and learning from successful safety initiatives (such as in transfusion medicine and other high-risk nonmedical industries), while reducing the shame associated with these events.