A Rhode Island hospital has been cited for its fifth wrong-site surgery since 2007. A surgeon at the Rhode Island hospital operated on the wrong part of a patient’s hand. In 2007, surgeons at the same hospital operated on the wrong sides of patient’s heads in three separate brain surgeries. At that time, the hospital was fined $50,000 for the errors. The surgical errors occurred at Rhode Island Hospital, the state’s largest hospital and the main teaching hospital for Brown University.
According to Dr. Mark R. Chassin, president of the Joint Commission, a private entity that inspects and accredits health-care organizations, wrong-site surgeries happen frequently and medical protocols have done little to prevent them.
These are events that should never happen. The unfortunate truth is that no hospital today in the U.S. or around the world … can guarantee that they will never happen. We do not know how to perfect our processes to ensure these [errors] never happen.”
According to Chassin’s organization, approximately 40 wrong-site surgeries occur across the country every week.
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