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Surgery

Surgical Errors Skyrocket

16 years, 11 months ago

3313  0
Posted on Sep 30, 2002, 6 a.m. By Bill Freeman

The number of serious surgical mistakes has risen dramatically since 1998, according to a recent report by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO, an independent body that evaluates healthcare organizations across the US). In 1998 the JCAHO released a warning after 15 "wrong site" cases (where an operation is performed on an incorrect part of the body) were reported.

The number of serious surgical mistakes has risen dramatically since 1998, according to a recent report by the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations (JCAHO, an independent body that evaluates healthcare organizations across the US). In 1998 the JCAHO released a warning after 15 "wrong site" cases (where an operation is performed on an incorrect part of the body) were reported. However, by the time the current report was released the number of botched operations had increased 10-fold to 150. Figures showed that outpatients were at the greatest risk, with 58% of the cases analyzed occurring in this type of setting. Meanwhile the most risky operations were orthopaedic and podiatric procedures. The majority of surgical errors involved wrong site operations, however 13% were carried out on the wrong patient, and 11% involved the wrong surgical procedure. The report was issued on the same day that it was revealed that surgeons at the University of Washington Medical Center had accidentally left a 13-inch long surgical instrument inside a patient.

SOURCE/REFERENCE: Reported by www.reutershealth.com on the 6th December 2001

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