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New guidelines on correct site surgery from the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) in Denver suggest that only the correct surgical site should be marked. To reduce the opportunity for wrong-site surgery, AORN recommends the following:
The new AORN guidelines recommend that each member of the surgical team should verbally verify the correct site.
"One of the things that have been identified as a factor that has caused errors to be made is too much reliance on just surgeons to determine that," says Carol Petersen, RN, BSN, MAOM, CNOR, perioperative nursing specialist at AORN’s Center for Nursing Practice.
At New Iberia (LA) Surgery Center, "All the nurses verify: on admission, in pre-op, and in the operating room by the OR staff," says Carllene MacMillan, administrator.
The AORN statement isn’t meant to dictate specific policies and practices but provide guidance for facilities to develop their own, the organization’s leaders emphasize. (For more information on wrong-site surgery, see Same-Day Surgery, January 1999. For more on the campaign by the Rosemont, IL-based American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons to reduce wrong-site surgery, see SDS, September 1998.)
[Editor’s note: For more information on wrong-site surgery, contact Carol Petersen at (800) 755-2676, ext. 392. E-mail: email@example.com.]