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Are Universal Protocols Effective in Reducing Wrong Site Surgeries?


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11/4/2010
Dover Law Firm
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In 2004, the Joint Commission introduced universal protocols to address the problem of wrong site surgeries.  These protocols have been widely accepted by hospitals and outpatient surgical sites.  Yet, they have not been completely effective according to a recent study published in the October edition of the Archives of Surgery.*

The universal protocols require that: surgical teams make a pre-procedure verification of the operation to be performed; that the surgical site is physically marked on the body; and that the operating team pauses or takes a brief time out to confirm the surgery prior to beginning an operation. 

The study’s authors found that surgical errors have occurred since the introduction of the universal protocols due to a lack of communication among the surgical staff.  The study also found that in some instances the protocols were not followed or the surgical team was not really paying attention to what was being done or said to protect the patient.

If you think that you or a loved one have been the victim of a wrong site surgery in Georgia, please contact an Atlanta medical malpractice attorney at 1.770.518.1133 or via our online contact form for more information.  You can also read our free report Surgery Common Problems and Surgical Errors to learn more.

*Source: Wrong-Site and Wrong-Patient Procedures in the Universal Protocol Era Arch Surg. 2010;145(10):978-984.


Category: Medical Malpractice


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