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Surgery on wrong patients, surgical sites persists

Bloomberg Businessweek, October 20, 2010

Patients undergoing surgery still risk falling victim to stunning medical mistakes, ranging from an operation on the wrong surgical site to undergoing surgery intended for another patient, a new study finds.

To try to curb the rate of surgical errors, the Joint Commission in 2004 introduced a universal protocol for all hospitals, ambulatory care facilities and office-based surgical facilities to follow. However, even though these steps have largely been adopted, errors continue to happen, the researchers reported.

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