I am always amazed when I hear about surgeries gone wrong, particularly
surgeries in which the wrong limb or organ is operated upon. I mean, how
hard is it to clearly mark the spot that needs to be addressed? I was
recently at the hospital with my mother, who was undergoing a quick procedure
that required her to be checked into the short-term surgical ward. Every
single person who saw her asked her to confirm that the information on
her hospital bracelet was correct. Those kinds of checks and balances
should be rote in any medical center.
Well, whoops to Rhode Island Hospital, which seems to have developed a
habit of performing surgeries on the wrong site. In fact, there have been
five wrong-site surgeries at Rhode Island Hospital since January 2007.
In addition, since July 1, 2009, Rhode Island has had an error-prevention
surgical protocol that must be followed by every hospital, but Rhode Island
Hospital hasn’t been following it.
The Rhode Island Health Department fined the hospital $150,000 and came
down on the hospital, ordering it to follow the state protocols and to
install cameras in every operating room. Every surgery taking place in
the hospital will be observed for a year. The hospital fine is only the
second ever issued by the state health department. The first? Surprise!
Rhode Island Hospital in 2007 when it had its third wrong-site neurosurgery
in a year.