In recent years, a concerning trend has emerged in the realm of healthcare: the rise of wrong-site surgical treatments. Medical procedures are designed to provide relief and healing, yet incidents involving surgeries performed on the incorrect site of a patient’s body have been on the increase. This unsettling phenomenon has prompted attention from medical professionals, regulatory bodies, and patient safety advocates alike. As we delve into the complexities of this issue, it becomes evident that addressing wrong-site surgical treatments is not only a matter of preventing physical errors but also of safeguarding patient trust and well-being.
The story by Robert Davis starts off by noting that although there have been years of patient-safety efforts, “an increasing number of health care facilities have reported mistakenly removing the wrong limbs or organs, slicing into the wrong side of bodies and performing surgery on the wrong patients.”
Surgery Errors: Wrong-Site Cases and Statistics
The original study on this reviewed 2.8 million operations over a 20-year period and was published in the April 2006 issue of Archives of Surgery. This study recorded all wrong-site surgery cases reported to a large malpractice insurance company between 1985 and 2004. This study uncovered 25 wrong-site operations that were identified.
The Joint Commission on Accreditation, a non-profit organization that sets patient safety requirements and guidelines, and inspects more than 15,000 hospitals and surgical centers nationwide received reports from healthcare facilities last year of 84 operations that involved the wrong body part or the wrong patient.
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Surgery Errors: Escalating Issues and Efforts
Dennis O’Leary, who heads the non-profit Joint Commission stated, “It’s getting worse. I can assure you that this is just the tip of the iceberg,” O’Leary says. “Some hospitals are reporting everything and some hospitals don’t report anything at all.”
Dr. Donald Palmisano, a New Orleans surgeon on the non-profit National Patient Safety Foundation’s board of directors commented, “We’re trying to get the number down to zero.” He continues, “It is such a catastrophe when this happens.”
Surgery Errors: Prevention Measures and Challenges
The article reports that since 2004 the joint commission has required doctors to mark the spot they plan to cut while consulting with their patients before surgery. Additionally, the commission is encouraging patients to insist on such a mark prior to their surgery.
However, the article notes that many surgeons do not follow the guidelines. Dr. Glenn Rothman, chairman of surgery at Banner Desert Medical Center in Mesa, Arizona, commented, “They think this is useless. Doctors fight it because they are the captains of the ship. There is a lot of resistance to standardized conduct.”
Dr. Jeremiah Carlson is a licensed chiropractor serving the Jacksonville community. Dr. Carlson has been improving Jacksonville’s health for over 15 years. As a chiropractor with experience, Dr. Carlson is committed to finding the proper diagnosis while promoting optimal health and well-being of his patients. Following diagnosis he will evaluate for misalignments in the spine and then use chiropractic manipulation to correct them. Correcting spinal misalignments can reduce joint pain, relax spasmed muscles and calm overactive nerves. Dr. Carlson’s approach is to create balance between the joints, muscles and nerves to reduce or eliminate pain.