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Steer Clear of Wrong-Site Surgery
These kinds of mistakes are called never events because they never should happen to anyone, but they do happen.
David Ring
Publish Date: September 19, 2014   |  Tags:   Patient Safety
signing surgical site BAD INK? Does signing the surgical site compromise sterility?

It's a wonder wrong-site surgeries don't happen more often in orthopedics: 2 sides, 10 digits, multiple sites for common everyday surgeries. As a veteran of a wrong procedure (I released the carpal tunnel when I was supposed to release a trigger finger), I can tell you firsthand the key roles that safety systems and a culture of safety play in preventing errors from causing harm. In the time it takes to conduct a hard time out and mark the surgical site, take this short quiz to test your knowledge of wrong-site surgery.

Wrong-site, wrong-procedure and wrong-patient errors are the most common sentinel event.

a. trueb. false

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Which surgical specialty has the most wrong-site surgeries?

a. cosmeticc. orthopedics
b. ophthalmologyd. podiatry

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Can surgical schedulers play a role in wrong-site surgery?

a. yesb. no

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The ink used to mark the surgical site can cause a surgical site infection.

a. trueb. false

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Which is the best way to mark the surgical site?

a. surgeon's initials
b. checkmark
c. the word NO on the opposite arm
d. arrow
e. bull's-eye

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It doesn't matter when you take a time out, just as long as you do so.

a. trueb. false

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