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

Wrong Sided Surgery Prevention

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Yesterday I wrote about a new report showing that wrong sided surgery is probably undereported in the medical literature. I found an interesting blog by a surgeon about this form of obvious medical malpractice.

The key to preventing this form of medical error, he says, is communication. We agree

For me, there are some fundamental issues that are at the heart of the wrong-side/wrong-site surgery problem, and they differ to some degree from the non-surgical wrong-treatment/wrong-procedure problem. First and foremost is the importance of a good old-fashioned doctor-patient relationship. This means in my practice not seeing the patient and scheduling them for surgery some weeks away without a preop appointment soon before the operation is to take place. That allows at least two occasions for the patient and I to interact, and the visit within a few days of surgery keeps me well aware of what I am doing to that particular patient. I think I lose a “feel” for the patient, their history, and their surgical problem if I don’t see them a day or so ahead of time.

The rest of his response to the news about wrong sided surgery is here.