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The 'nightmare' of wrong level in spine surgery: a critical appraisal

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Author(s): Irace Claudio | Usai Susanna

Journal: Patient Safety in Surgery
ISSN 1754-9493

Volume: 6;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 14;
Date: 2012;
Original page

Keywords: Discectomy | Incorrect site surgery | Interspinous device | IRACE method | Wrong level | Wrong level spine surgery

ABSTRACT
Abstract The recent article published in the Journal by Lindley and colleagues (Patient Saf. Surg. 2011, 5:33) reported the successful surgical treatment of a persistent thoracic pain following a T7-8 microdiscectomy, truly performed at the ‘level immediately above’. The wrong level in spine surgery is a multi-factorial matter and several strategies have been designed and adopted to try decreasing its occurrence. We think that three of these factors are crucial: global strategy, attention, precision in level identification; and the actors we identified are the surgeon, the assistant nurse and the (neuro)radiologist respectively. Basing upon our experience, the role of the radiologist pre- and intraoperatively and the importance of the assistant nurse are briefly described.
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