wrong site surgery

Essay by jimunozHigh School, 11th gradeA, October 2014

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Wrong-site surgery: A preventable medical malpractice

Jessica Muñoz

Kearsarge Regional High School

Wrong site surgery is a huge issue in America and all around the world. It is one of the most common medical mistakes. Wrong site surgery is when a surgeon goes to perform surgery on a body part, but gets the body part wrong. This can happen in a variety of ways. This can mean anatomically the wrong body part was removed, such as the right hand instead of the left. This could also occur when the anatomical position is correct, but the specific site is wrong, such as cutting off a wrong finger. And finally, it could also mean that the anatomical position and location are correct, but the wrong surgery is performed, such as connecting a muscle when they should disconnect one. This is a problem that occurs all over the world where surgery is practiced.

A case that took place in the most prestigious hospitals in the state of Rhode Island, which is also credited for being the teaching hospital for students of Brown University, Rhode Island hospital made the mistake of operating on the wrong side of a patient's brain. This incident occurred three times in one year at this hospital alone. The first incident was the result of failure to mark what side of the brain needed to be operated on. The doctor and nurse in this operation claimed they were not trained in how to use a standardized pre-surgery checklist. In the second incident, a different doctor whom had over 20 years experience never filled out which side of an 86 year old man's brain had a blood clot. He told the nurse that he knew which side it was based...