Changing Surgery Site Marking Procedure Assignment

Changing Surgery Site Marking Procedure Assignment

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The reason for choosing this topic is because, at the hospital, Nationwide Children’s Hospital, a lot of our physicians will mark surgical sites with a smiley face, or an X and other funny signs, instead of using surgeon’s initials. Poor initials such as X may be interpreted differently by various surgeons. Worst case scenario is that some surgeons will think that the X means that that they should not be carrying out surgery in the specified operative site (Stahel, Mehler, Clarke & Varnell, 2009).This means that they will ignore the part that needs surgery and perhaps carry out the operation in the wrong area.

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Wrongful surgery site marking can result in severe consequences as patient will get surgery in the wrong place. In the eyes of the law this will be termed as negligence.  It is important to note that the hospital deals with children and are delicate to handle. If a surgery is done in the wrong part, it can easily destroy the life of the child or even kill her or him. This could lead to wrong-site surgery litigation against the surgeons (Robinson & Muir, 2009). In extreme cases, the surgeon may lose their practicing certificate. To prevent these issues the surgeons need to come with standardized site marking procedures.

Standardized surgery marking enables the organization to adhere to the Universal Protocol of surgery site marking. The universal protocol strives to ensure that there is acceptable way of surgery marking around the world (Norton, 2007). Hence, surgeons will interpret markings in the same way globally. The standardization will also help in training interns on the right were of marking a patient of surgery. Research has shown that interns are more likely to make wrong marks for the surgeons.




Norton, E. (2007). Implementing the Universal Protocol Hospital-Wide. AORN Journal, 85(6), 1187-1197.

Robinson, P.M. and Muir, L.T. (2009). Wrong-site surgery in orthopaedics. The Journal Of Bone And Joint Surgery, 91(B), 1274-80.

Stahel, P.F., Mehler, P.S., Clarke, T.J. and Varnell J. (2009). The 5th anniversary of the “Universal Protocol”: pitfalls and pearls revisited. Patient Saf Surg. 3(1):14. doi:10.1186/1754-9493-3-14

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