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Keeping You Safe

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What Are Adverse Events?

An adverse event is an unexpected occurrence, such as the wrong procedure being done. We take many steps to prevent adverse events. As a patient, you can make your care safer by being an active, involved and informed member of your health care team.

  • You will be asked to sign an informed consent form before any surgical procedure. Please read it carefully.
    • Make sure that it has your correct identification information.
    • Make sure that it lists the correct kind of surgery or procedure that you are having.
  • You will be asked to bring a list of medications you are currently taking.
    • This helps assure that you are taking the proper medications while in the hospital.
    • It also prevents duplication, and may prevent any drug-drug or drug-disease interactions.
  • When you are admitted for your surgery or procedure, the staff will ask your name and birth date, to confirm your specific surgery or procedure and the side of the body to be operated on. The doctor may mark the site on your body to be operated on.
  • Before the surgery or procedure, the team will perform a “time out” to assure, among other things, that they are doing the correct surgery on the correct body part on the correct person.

Infection Prevention

To prevent surgical site infections, health care providers:

  • May give you antibiotics before surgery starts and will continue them through the first 24 hours after surgery
  • Will clean their hands and arms with an antiseptic agent just before surgery
  • Will clean their hands with soap and water or a hand sanitizer before and after caring for each patient
  • Will wear hair covers, masks, gowns and gloves during surgery to keep the surgery area clean
  • May remove some of your body hair in the area of the procedure using electric clippers
  • Will clean the skin at the site of your surgery with a special soap that kills germs

What do I need to do when I go home from the hospital?

  • Make sure you understand the instructions that your doctor or nurse gives you about taking care of your wound or any new medications you may need to take.
  • Always clean your hands before and after caring for your wound.
  • Make sure you know who to contact if you have questions or problems after you get home.
  • If you have any symptoms of infection, call your doctor immediately. Signs of infection are:
    • Redness or pain at the surgery site
    • Drainage at the surgery site
    • Fever

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