Hospital Owns Up to Wrong-Side Surgery

Experienced doc makes rookie mistake
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 4, 2008 10:25 AM CDT
Massachusetts alone typically reports 15 wrong-side surgeries a year.   (Shutterstock)
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(Newser) – An experienced surgeon cut into the wrong side of his patient this week at a Boston hospital that has, coincidentally, been leading the crusade against medical mistakes. The hospital told its entire staff about the blunder, the fifth such wrong-side surgery Massachusetts has seen this year, the Boston Globe reports. Such open reporting is a rarity, one specialist said.

The hospital’s chief has consistently blogged about medical mistakes, encouraging other hospitals to be equally forthcoming. “It’s everybody’s worst nightmare,” said a rep for a health think tank. “What you want to do is disclose it to the [hospital] community, so the community can figure out how they can advance their practice and advance their role so this never happens again."