"Despite years of patient-safety efforts, an increasing number of health care facilities have reported mistakenly removing the wrong limbs or organs, slicing into the wrong side of bodies and performing surgery on the wrong patients. 'It's getting worse,' says Dennis O'Leary, who heads the non-profit Joint Commission on Accreditation of health care Organizations, which inspects more than 15,000 hospitals and surgical centers nationwide and sets patient safety requirements and guidelines. Last year, health care facilities reported 84 operations to the commission that involved the wrong body part or the wrong patient. While some states require hospitals to report such blunders, many hospitals across the nation are not obligated to account for them publicly."
Robert Davis, USA Today, 4/17/06