January 19, 2008

Hospital Fined After Operating on Wrong Side of Body Again

A Rhode Island hospital was fined $50,000 and reprimanded by the state Department of Health Monday after their third situation this year of a doctor performing brain surgery on the wrong side of a patient’s head. The most recent situation happened on Friday when the chief resident started brain surgery on the wrong side of the head of an 82 year old patient. The patient is okay, but back in August, a patient died a few weeks after a doctor performed brain surgery on the wrong side of the head. After that the hospital received an independent review of its neurosurgery practices and it has to have better verification from doctors of its surgery plans. The hospital says that it is currently working with the Department of Health to reduce the risk of medical errors. They also say they are re-evaluating their training policies and providing more oversight by giving the nursing staff the power to make sure that the procedures are properly followed.

Along with the fine, the state has ordered the hospital to make a neurosurgery checklist that has information about the location of the surgery and the patient’s medical history. They also have to make a plan to train the staff of the new checklist.

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