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Revista Cubana de Enfermería

versión impresa ISSN 0864-0319versión On-line ISSN 1561-2961


ARAUJO ARAUJO, Melina P.S. et al. Surgery on the Wrong Side. Rev Cubana Enfermer [online]. 2018, vol.34, n.2, e1422.  Epub 01-Jun-2018. ISSN 0864-0319.


Surgical assistance has been indispensable in health care. However, failures in surgical procedures can cause irreversible damage to patients. Surgeries on the wrong side, wrong place, or to the wrong patient are the most frequent complications, while preventive measures can prevent them from occurring entirely.


To identify the strategies for preventing the occurrence of this type of error in the surgical assistance services.


An integrative literature review was carried out in the databases Medline, Science Direct, Portal Capes, the Latin America and the Caribbean Health Sciences (LILACS), the Spanish Bibliographic Index of Health Sciences (IBECS), and the Cochrane Library, in the period from 2003 to 2015. We included 14 works that indicated as main measures: the use of a checklist, the application of a WHO universal protocol for patient safety, marking the site to be operated, efficient communication among the multi-professional surgical team, and also patient involvement, as well as professional education and sensitization.


Surgery on the wrong side can be avoided. In this respect, proposing activities involving both the multidisciplinary team and the patient is a priority in healthcare services, which contributes with the improvement of the surgical patient safety.

Palabras clave : Medial errors; patient safety; operative surgical procedure.

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