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Operating room nurses cite wrong-site surgery as top concern

Nurses are among some of the most experienced and skilled medical professionals at any hospital. Nurses are trained to put the safety and comfort of a patient first as they care for patients prior to, during and after medical procedures. While nurses attempt to diligently perform assigned work duties, they often witness medical errors that are cause for concern. In fact, the results of a new study indicate nurses have many concerns related to surgical procedures and patient safety.

The study, which was conducted by the Joint Commission Center for Transforming Healthcare, surveyed some 2,000 operating room nurses to gain insight into which safety matters were of top concern for nursing professionals. Of those surveyed, 65 percent cited wrong-site surgery as their number one safety concern.


While rare compared to other medical errors, the long-term impact of a wrong-site surgical procedure is often devastating. Patients who have been the victim of wrong-site surgeries include those who have had operations on the wrong body part, the wrong side of the body or the wrong surgical procedure. In addition to wrong-site surgeries, roughly 63 percent of nurses cited infections as a major concern and 60 percent noted foreign objects left inside a patient's body as a top concern.

Surgical errors are among some of the most serious and deadly of all medical errors. In many cases, patients who are impacted by surgical errors sustain serious and life-altering injuries. Oftentimes these injuries result in painful and debilitating conditions which require additional medical treatments or procedures to correct. In some cases, patients become permanently disabled and never fully recover from their injuries.

Ohio patients who have been adversely impacted due to a surgical error may choose to take legal action. In many cases a doctor, nurse or hospital is negligent in failing to follow safety procedures and protocols. In such cases, a medical malpractice lawsuit may be an appropriate means to recovering compensation related to pain and suffering, disability and even death.

Source: Infection Control Today, "Wrong-site Surgery Cited as Top OR Safety Challenge Among U.S. Hospitals, Survey Finds," Aug. 1, 2013

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