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November 5, 2009 - Hospital Mistakes Prompt OR Cameras

A Rhode Island hospital must install operating room video cameras after five "wrong-site" operations carried out there since 2007, officials say.

The Rhode Island Department of Health has ordered cameras for Rhode Island Hospital in Providence after the latest instance of doctors operating on the wrong parts of patients' bodies, ABC News reported Wednesday.

The hospital was also fined $150,000 for last month's mistake, in which a surgeon operated on the wrong finger of a patient. Three separate brain surgeries were done in the wrong body locations at Rhode Island in 2007, and earlier this year a surgeon operated on the wrong side of the mouth of a patient with a cleft palate, the U.S. broadcaster reported.

"We have been looking into this for quite a while," said Dr. Sidney Wolfe, president of the consumer advocacy group Public Citizen, told ABC. "When it repeatedly happens in a hospital, it means a system isn't in place in the hospital to keep it from happening."

"Patient safety has always been, and remains, our No. 1 priority," hospital president and chief executive officer Dr. Timothy Babineau in a statement.

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