In 2003, the Joint Commission, a non-profit patient assistance organization, introduced the Universal Pre-Surgery Protocol to help prevent wrong procedure/person and wrong site surgery. This protocol involves 3 safety checks that should be performed by every surgical team prior to incision.

Pre-Procedure Verification - The patient identity is verified, the procedure to be performed is verified, and the site where the procedure is to be performed is verified. These verifications should take place among the entire surgical team and, when applicable, the patient should be included as well. The patient's medical records should be used in these verifications.

Marking of the Surgical Site - A member of the surgical team marks the appropriate site where the procedure is to be performed. This member should be a licensed practitioner and will be held accountable for the site verification; they should also be present during the surgery.

Performing a Time Out - Before any incision or invasive procedure is started, a designated member of the surgical team must conduct a time out. The immediate members of the surgical team pause to review that they are about to operate on the correct patient, at the correct site on their body, and the procedure to be performed. If multiple procedures are to be performed during one operation, another time out must be conducted prior to starting a new procedure.

Unfortunately, in some cases, doctors neglect one or more of these protocols, particularly the time out procedure. This often leads to wrong site surgery which can result in further complications or even death. Our article library has more about wrong site surgery and how it may lead to filing a Kentucky medical malpractice claim. 

If you or a loved one has been the victim of a wrong site surgery error and are seeking compensation for your damages, the attorneys at Gray and White Law are here to help. We have successfully handled many Kentucky medical malpractice and wrongful death cases and can help you recover from your losses. Contact us today to schedule an evaluation of your case 1-888-450-4456.

Matthew L. White
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Founder & Partner of Louisville Personal Injury Law Firm Gray & White Law
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