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Patients expect hospital care to be safe, and for most hospital stays it is. However, a small proportion of patients experience some type of unintended harm as a result of the care they receive. Hospital patients are particularly vulnerable because many are very frail and hospital care is increasingly complex. When patients are harmed in hospital, they can experience increased length of stay and are at an increased risk for morbidity and mortality. In addition to what these patients and their families go through, their continued need for treatment also has a cost to the system, in that it keeps other people from getting the help they need (CIHI & CPSI, 2016).  Patients need to take an active role in their healthcare to prevent errors. Although wrong-site surgery is rare it still can occur. Communication between the healthcare team and the patient is important (Pennsylvania Patient Safety Authority, 2018).

Patient Story

Brampton Civic Hospital operates on wrong leg

A Brampton family is frustrated after their 72-year-old grandmother had the wrong leg cut open during surgery on Christmas Day at the city's new hospital. Amar Kaur Brar, 72, fractured her thigh bone when she slipped from the stairs at the family's Brampton home, her granddaughter Kanwaljot Brar, 21, told The Sun yesterday. "In the operating room, doctors cut Amar's right leg open," Brar said, adding the cut ran almost the entire length of her grandmother's thigh. When they realized that the bone in Amar's right leg was okay, they stitched her up and performed surgery on her left leg….

For case studies of various "Selected Serious Events" refer to Appendix A.