Doctors are only human, and as such are subject to making mistakes. That doesn’t mean the patient or the insurance pays when the mistakes are easily avoidable, those known as “never events”.

Whether it’s a double mastectomy that complicates and killss the patient or the man with his healthy kidney removed, rather than the one with cancer, there is a cure for this type of mistake. It’s called the time-out.

”Out of 4,817 serious problems tracked over the past 12 years by the Joint Commission, the chief accrediting organization for hospitals, 625 were wrong-site surgeries. These are the nightmares: A Long Island, N.Y., woman in her 30s who never had cancer received an unnecessary double mastectomy—then died the following day of complications from the procedure. A man in a Brooklyn, N.Y., hospital had his healthy kidney removed—instead of his cancerous one.”


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