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Iowa Surgeons Face Stiffer Penalties For Wrong-Site Errors

Fri, 03/19/2010 - 4:27am

New legislation means Iowa physicians who perform a wrong-site procedure will be subject to new state sanctions from the Iowa Board of Medicine. Stronger actions stem from the board’s feelings that these situations represent preventable medical errors that can be addressed via standardized procedures in the perioperative environment.

Under the new sub-rule, surgeons found guilty of wrong-site surgery can face disciplinary sanctions that may include suspension or revocation of their Iowa medical license and a civil penalty of up to $10,000.

According to reports, those who pushed for these more stringent measures see wrong-site surgery as resulting from poor pre-operative planning, a lack of institutional controls, failure of the surgeon to exercise due care, or miss-communication between the patient and surgeon.

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