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Correspondence and Brief Communications
October 1, 2006

Wrong-Site Surgery

Arch Surg. 2006;141(10):1049-1050. doi:10.1001/archsurg.141.10.1049

The scholarly article by Kwaan et al1 brings much-needed attention to the ongoing problem of wrong-site surgery. However, the manner in which this article has been used in the public domain raises serious concerns about the message we are sending to the public, to health care providers, and to health care administrative personnel. As the Chairman of Surgery at a large community hospital and a recognized expert in surgery site mark safety, I believe we have only scratched the surface of this important issue. No informed-consent document lists operating on the wrong body part as an accepted risk of surgery. We need to embrace the issue of wrong-site surgery and recognize that the present strategies have been ineffective. Consider the following: