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Archive Patient Safety 2009

Can Wrong-site Surgery Happen On Your Watch?

Not if you review the answers to these often-asked questions about proper surgical site-marking protocols.

Denise Martindell, RN, JD


Marking the surgical site is at the center of The Joint Commission's 3-step Universal Protocol to prevent wrong-site, wrong-patient and wrong-procedure surgery. If the mark is in the wrong place or not there at all, confusion in the OR could result in a serious "never event" with traumatic impact on the patient, surgeon and surgical team. Let's see if your current protocols to prevent wrong-site surgery are on the mark.

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