Gorovitz & Borten, P.C.
Attorneys at Law

550 Cochituate Road, Suite 25
Framingham, Massachusetts
Tel: (781) 890-9095
Operating Room Errors
.Major errors in an operating room are usually preventable and avoidable. Poor
communication among the medical staff inside the operating room are frequently
the root cause of operating room errors. Inadequate communication between
health care providers (surgeons, nurses,anesthesiologists) is a frequent
contributing factor in particular, for wrong-site surgery. Concerns include:
•        Equipment problems
•        Communication failures
•        Technical failures
•        Intraoperative medication errors

Current surgical safety guidelines and checklists (Universal Protocol and Time
Out) are generic and are not specifically tailored to address patient issues and risk
factors in surgical subspecialties, thus patient safety in the operating room is still
an ongoing problem on a daily basis. Occurrence of avoidable and preventable
adverse events for surgical procedures inside an operating room remain
unacceptably high.

Failures occur by choosing the inappropriate method of care or by poor execution
of an appropriate method of care. The administration of the wrong medication
and/or wrong dosage of the right medication is more common than previously
believed. In over 50% of cases, the medication error is serious and in
approximately 2% of cases, the medication error is life threatening.
Because errors are inevitable in human endeavors, having a system in place to
prevent them from occurring, and promptly remedying them when they do occur,
improves overall patient safety in particular in an operating room. Several layers of
safety measures are required where errors may lead to severe and permanent
injuries to a patient.

•        A procedure involving laterality should be scheduled with a Right or Left
•        Preoperatively, the correct surgical site should be verified by a nurse with
the operating room schedule and the patient’s informed consent;
•        The surgeon should verify the surgical site in the presence of a nurse;
•        The anesthesiologist and circulating operating room nurse should verify
independently both the surgical procedure and site to be operated;
•        When the patient is placed on the operating room table, the nurse,
anesthesiologist and surgeon should verify the procedure and site to be operated;
•        After the patient is covered with the surgical drapes, the nurse,
anesthesiologist and surgeon should verify the procedure and site to be operated;
•        ‘Time Out’ the surgeon should confirm:
o        Correct patient;
o        Consent for procedure;
o        Correct site and side;
o        Correct position;
o        Correct images; and
o        Correct equipment for the planned procedure
Wrong-site, wrong procedure and wrong patient surgery are what is usually
termed as ‘NEVER EVENTS’. Nonetheless, they continue to frequently occur
indicating serious continuing underlying safety problems within a hospital
operating room environment. A ‘Never Event’ is universally avoidable and

If you believe that you or your loved one have been injured as a result of error in
the operating room that was avoidable and/or preventable, you may have a valid
cause of action. The injury may be the result of a medical provider's (surgeon,
nurse, anesthesiologist) mistake in handling your surgical procedure and the
result of medical negligence. Dr. Borten has over 35 years of experience as a
physician/surgeon to fully evaluate the merits of your potential case. Allow the
medical malpractice attorneys at Gorovitz & Borten help you assert your rights and
get the compensation you deserve.
Contact Information
For a free confidential consultation and receive a response within 24 hours (when
possible), please contact us by phone, fax or e-mail with your question or concern.

Telephone:  781-890-9095     -     Fax:   781-890-9098
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