Purpose of review
There has been increasing attention to wrong site medical procedures over the last 20 years. This review aims to provide a summary of the current understanding and recommendations for the prevention of wrong-site nerve blocks (WSNB).
Various procedural, patient, practitioner, and organizational factors have been associated with the risk of WSNB. Recent findings have suggested that the use of a checklist is likely to reduce the incidence of WSNB. However, despite the widespread use of preprocedural checklists, WSNB continue to occur at significant frequency. This may be due to the inability of practitioners and teams to implement checklists correctly or the cognitive errors that prevent checklists from being executed as designed.
Though the evidence is limited, it is recommended that a combination of multiple strategies should be employed to prevent WSNB. These include the use of preprocedural markings, well constructed checklists, time-out/stop-moments, and cognitive/physical aids. Effective implementation requires team education and engagement that empowers all team members to speak up as part of a culture of safety.