October 2018
Wrong-Site Surgery
Anesthesiology, Nursing, Surgery

 What is Wrong-Site Surgery?

Icon of person showing right and left sides

 Surgery performed on the wrong side or site of the body.







Icon of a writing pen

  When the wrong surgery is performed.





  Icon representing the wrong patientWhen surgery is performed on the wrong patient.





Keep Yourself Safe

Patients need to take an active role in their healthcare to prevent errors. Although wrong-site surgery is rare it still can occur. Communication between the healthcare team and the patient is important.

Don't be afraid to speak up.

  • If you have any questions about what someone is doing, make sure to stop them and ask questions.
  • If the doctor has not marked your skin where (s)he is doing the surgery, ask them to do so.
  • Make sure the medical staff place a bracelet with your name and date of birth on your wrist.

 Bring someone with you.

  • It is always a good idea to have someone with you to ask questions and speak up if you or they are not sure of what is being done. 
  • Make sure you or your caregiver understands what surgery is to be done. Do not sign a consent form if you are not sure or have questions.
  • Many people will ask you the same questions. They do that to be sure everyone is on the same page about what surgery you are having and on what body part.