Close X
Get more out of WDDTY.com
by joining the site for free
Free 17-point plan to great health
Twice weekly e-news bulletins
Access to our News, Forums and Blogs
Sign up for free and claim your
17-point plan to great health
Free 17-point plan to great health

Twice weekly e-news bulletins

Access to our News, Forums and Blogs
OR

If you want to read our in-depth research articles or
have our amazing magazine delivered to your home
each month, then you have to pay.


Click here if you're interested
Helping you make better health choices

In shops now or delivered to your home from only £3.50 an issue!

Subscribe!

Doctor Errors: Sometimes they don't know their right hand from their left
About the author: 
WDDTY Team

Do you know your right hand from your left? Of course you do - but a surprisingly large number of doctors don't

Do you know your right hand from your left? Of course you do - but a surprisingly large number of doctors don't. This can be a problem if you're amputating a leg.

Sometimes they get the right and left bit sorted out, but still carry out the wrong procedure on the patient, or they get the procedure right, but on a patient who should never had it in the first place.

All of these blunders have a medical name, of sorts, and they're known by the acronym WSPEs, which stands for 'wrong-side/wrong-site, wrong-procedure, wrong-patient' adverse events.

These mistakes are so basic that you'd think they are rare enough to be virtually non-existent. You'd be wrong. One study estimates that between 1,300 and 2,700 WSPEs occur every year in America, which, at the high end, suggests more than seven a day.

Even these estimates may be conservative. Researchers found that WSPEs are rarely reported - and with the threat of litigation looming, this is perhaps not so surprising. Instead it is often left to the newspapers to announce the blunder, having interviewed the patient, if he has survived, or his relatives.

Orthopaedic surgeons and dentists seem to commit the most WSPE blunders, while the more common errors are to do with the wrong treatment or wrong procedure.
So perhaps more doctors know their right from their left than we thought.

(Source: Archives of Surgery, 2006; 141: 931-9).

E-news broadcast 23 November 2006 No.312 [Subscribe]


You may also be interested in...

Latest Tweet

About

Since 1989, WDDTY has provided thousands of resources on how to beat asthma, arthritis, depression and many other chronic conditions.

Start by looking in our fully searchable database, active and friendly community forums and the latest health news.

Positive SSL Wildcard

Facebook Twitter

Most Popular Health Website of the Year 2014

© 2010 - 2017 WDDTY Publishing Ltd.
All Rights Reserved