Article

Current practice on preoperative correct site surgical marking.

Frimley Park Hospital, Camberley, GU16 7UJ.
Journal of perioperative practice 06/2010; 20(6):210-4.
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT Performing surgery at an incorrect site has devastating outcomes. The National Patient Safety agency and Royal College of Surgeons England have provided recommendations to promote correct site surgery with emphasis on surgical markings. There is little published data on surgical site marking practices amongst surgeons. A prospective audit on surgical site marking was performed on 500 surgical procedures: 204 inguinal hernias, 35 umbilical hernias, 48 varicose veins, 40 toenail removals, 123 excisions of skin lesions, 10 femoral artery procedures and 40 breast procedures. The results showed that 59% of markings were visible in theatre post sterile draping, 40.4% markings were not visible, and 0.6% (3/500) were not marked. Recommendations suggest the use of an arrow with an indelible marker pen. Our results show the use of an arrow in 64% of patients and this was the most common form of mark used. An appropriate marker pen was used on 88% of patients. There is no evident published data to compare our practice to that of other surgical units, however, to improve correct site surgery markings should be visible, recognisable and understood by all specialties and grades. A universal marking system to improve correct site surgery may be beneficial.

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