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Doctor Fined $2,500 for Trigger Release Gaffe

Hand specialist operates on the incorrect finger.

Published: August 14, 2014

Plastic surgeon and hand specialist Rene F. Recinos, MD, PhD, has been cited, warned and fined $2,500 by the Iowa Board of Medicine for performing trigger release surgery on the wrong finger.

The Mason City physician operated on the patient's right ring finger instead of the right middle finger, according to the board. He realized his mistake, informed the patient and subsequently performed the procedure on the correct finger.

As part of the recent settlement with the board, Dr. Recinos submitted a written corrective action plan, which describes the steps he has taken to avoid wrong-site errors in the future. A spokesman for the board says the plan is appropriate, but its details are confidential.

Dr. Recinos did not return a call seeking comment. David Ring, MD, PhD, the associate professor of orthopedic surgery at Harvard Medical School in Boston, once made a similar error, performing a carpal tunnel release instead of a trigger-finger release. At OR Excellence in October at the New Orleans Marriott, Dr. Ring will openly discuss the circumstances that led to the error, what it taught him and the lessons surgeons and administrators can take back to their facilities to ensure wrong-site surgery doesn't happen on their watch.

Daniel Cook

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