Mass. facilities perform 14 wrong-site surgeries since 2011

There have been at least 14 instances since 2011 in which caregivers at Massachusetts hospitals have performed a medical procedure on the wrong patient, state records obtained by the Boston Globe indicate. In at least 10 of these cases, caregivers failed to comply with one simple rule.

Whether they were busy, distracted or forgot, 10 wrong-patient procedures occurred because caregivers did not use two distinct pieces of information to identify a patient, such as a full name and a birth date, according to the report. Verifying a patient's identity is critical to ensuring imaging or other diagnostic tests leads to the delivery of treatments and procedures to the correct patient.

In several of these 14 cases, patients did not speak English, which is believed to increase the risk of medical errors, according to the report.

The procedures that were performed on the wrong patients included the insertion of intravenous catheters, endoscopies and biopsies, according to the report.

Click here for the full report.

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