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Not This Leg! How To Ensure The Correct Body Part Is Operated On

Photo by National Cancer Institute on Unsplash

A Story Told By Our Pediatrics Professor

Hello my WP family! How is everyone coping? Have you had your vaccines? How do you feel? Are you out and about?

Today’s post is inspired by Calmkate’s response to her story about where one may prefer to die.

So back during my nursing school days, one of my professors told us this story.

Her mother was to have surgery on her leg and had surrendered herself to the mercy of the hospital the previous evening. Her surgery would take place very early the following morning.

My Professor said as she laid in bed that evening a horrific thought crossed her mind.

What if the surgeons operated on the wrong leg? 

She began remembering all the stories of surgical mistakes she had ever heard. Stories of surgeries on the body part that was normal and leaving the diseased one intact.

So with the horrors fresh in her mind, she got out of bed and drove to the hospital to find her mother in bed. She took the marker we use in the hospital to write on the skin (it takes days to come off), and she wrote: “NOT THIS LEG”!

She stated she was not about to let them operate on the good leg.

We all had a nervous laugh about it at the time, but in reality, these things can and do happen. Processes are in place to prevent mistakes, but since to err is human … we can help them to ensure they operate on the “right” body part.

So yes, make a mark and let them know … “Not this leg”!

Be safe and be blessed!