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Universal protocol has not eliminated wrong-site surgeries

Having a surgical procedure can cause apprehension in Louisiana patients. You expect the team that cares for you while under anesthetic take the best care of you under such circumstances. However, if the unthinkable happens and the surgeon performs the wrong procedure or the correct procedure on the wrong body part, the results can be disastrous. At MGM Attorneys, we have experience representing clients with medical malpractice claims.

ConnectID by PDC Healthcare reports that there is an average of 50 cases per week of wrong-site surgeries in the U.S. The Joint Commission enacted the Universal Protocol 15 years ago to reduce the number of wrong-site, wrong-patient and wrong-procedure incidents. This protocol involves three primary steps.

  • The pre-procedure verification focuses on ensuring appropriate surgical room preparation. All equipment, documents and tools needed for the procedure are labeled and reviewed by the team, so the room is ready for you.
  • Site marking is frequently the responsibility of the surgeon. The patient is often included as part of the process, ensuring correct site notation on the body.
  • The time-out portion of the protocol provides the surgeon and the patient time for discussion regarding the procedure before it begins. All aspects are open for dialogue, and the patient may address any questions or concerns they have.

A standardized process is critical to a successful protocol. It provides consistent communication channels for the surgical staff, helping reduce the chance of a never event. If you or a loved one is the victim of a wrong-site surgical procedure, despite the Universal Protocol, you may have grounds for a claim. Visit our webpage for more information on this topic.

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