Another wrong-site surgery reported at Rhode Island Hospital

A wrong-site surgery that occurred at Rhode Island Hospital Oct. 22 is its fifth such botched case since 2007.

Timothy Babineau, president of the Providence-based hospital, said an orthopedic surgeon operated on the wrong finger, the Associated Press reports. The surgery was then performed on the correct finger.

The hospital was fined $50,000 in 2007 after brain surgeons operated on the wrong side of patients' heads in three separate cases.

Although surgical teams are required to take a "time out" before beginning a procedure to verify the surgical site, at least 126 wrong-site surgeries have been reported so far this year--up from 116 last year, according Joint Commission data. Some industry experts believe these numbers are under-reported, however.

The Rhode Island Hospital surgical team apparently did take a time-out before operating on a joint on one of the patient's fingers, but neglected to take a second time-out before beginning a second procedure on a different joint, a hospital official said, according to the Providence Journal.

For more on wrong-site surgeries:
- read the Associated Press article
- check out this Providence Journal article

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