Saturday, December 20, 2008


All surgical procedures must have a consent form signed by the patient before we go back to the OR. Most of the time this is done in clinic before surgery. The doctors describe the risks of the procedure, and weigh them against the benefits. (Sometimes glossing over the risks, in my opinion, but that's a different discussion) With some surgical services this is done the morning of the procedure before they go to the OR. (Usually with the more straight-forward procedures).

To assure that we don't miss this there are brightly colored signs at the patient bedside that scream "NO CONSENT"

I walk up to the patient and there are these NO CONSENT signs everywhere, so I start flipping through the paperwork after I introduce myself. I see a signed consent form..,

I'm surprised a bit, because the surgeons are still in the OR as far as I know someone else from the team would have had to come out to take care of the it.

The Preop nurse is starting an IV, "I see someone came down and consented the patient"

"No, she filled it out herself."


Apparently the patient is a recovery room nurse at another medical facility, saw the paperwork and just started filling it out herself.

Not necessarily great in a medicolegal sense, but mildly amusing to me.