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Doctors At Beth Israel Made Spine Operation Errors

Federal and state health inspectors have cited a major Boston teaching hospital after doctors operated on the wrong location on three spine surgery patients.

All three unconnected errors happened since September.

Dr. Kenneth Sands, senior vice president of health care quality at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, tells The Boston Globe the surgeons apparently miscounted the patients' vertebrae and operated directly above or below where they were supposed to.

Two operations were conducted by the same surgeon. The hospital did not release names.

The hospital has procedures in place to avoid errors, and those procedures have been improved.

Sands says none of the patients suffered harmful effects as a result of the mistaken surgery. But a lawyer for one says the woman has experienced problems.

This program aired on December 24, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.

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