Orthopaedic surgeons constantly strive to reduce complications in their patients. In an effort to reduce human error during surgical procedures a TIME OUT is performed. This TIME OUT procedure starts prior to surgery by the orthopaedic surgeon marking his/her initials on the knee that will be operated on. This may be done a day or two prior to surgery in the office or may occur in the pre-operative holding area.
In the picture, Donna is going to undergo a knee replacement surgeryknee replacement surgery. Her surgeon has initialed her operative knee. Notice that her other knee has a well healed incision from a knee replacement surgery.
Once the patient goes back to the operating room the TIME OUT procedure continues. The patient may or may not be awake during this period of time. Frequently, the TIME OUT is done after anesthesiaanesthesia has been induced. During the TIME OUT, the nurse will confirm: the name of the patient, the surgeonsurgeon who is performing the procedure, the specific procedure that is being done including which side, and the timing of the pre-operative antibiotics given. Some institutions will add other information during the TIME OUT, such as identifying patient allergies. The TIME OUT is performed to increase the safety for the patient.
The American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons (AAOS) believes that a unified effort among surgeons, hospitals and other health care providers to initiate preoperative and other institutional regulations can minimize all types of preventable surgical harmspreventable surgical harms including wrong site/side/level/procedure/patient/implant surgeries.