Before your child is wheeled away for surgery, ask the surgeon to mark the spot being operated on—especially if the procedure involves a right/left distinction between arms, legs, fingers, or toes, or if it involves a part of the body like the spine, which has multiple levels. (“Wrong-site errors” occur more frequently during spinal surgeries, by the way, because it’s quite easy to operate on the wrong vertebrae or disk.) Normal protocol is for the surgeon to write his or her initials (or the word “yes”) on the surgical site. Surgeons don’t use an “X” to mark the spot, since that could be construed as meaning “don’t operate here.” And that could lead to a big, bad goof. (By the way, this surgical site marking is required by The Joint Commission, which is good news for you.)
From The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents by Jennifer Trachtenberg.
Find out more about this book:The Smart Parent's Guide: Getting Your Kids Through Checkups, Illnesses, and Accidents