Wrong Surgeries

No, not that leg: New rules to fight surgery mixups

Think the idea of a surgeon autographing the body part where you're going to have an operation is a bit weird? It may prevent a big mixup from happening. And it's one of the new rules taking effect next month in operating rooms nationwide, to keep doctors from operating on the wrong body part -- or the wrong patient. The entire operating room crew will have to take a "time-out" and go through a pre-surgery checklist, to make sure a big mistake doesn't happen. Ideally, the surgeon will sign the body part while the patient is awake and cooperative. There's no way to know exactly how many surgery mix-ups happen each year. But the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations says it can revoke a facility's accreditation if it doesn't comply with the new rules, which take effect July first.