There are news stories in Akron and across the country of advances in medicine
and surgery. From new drugs to new technology, innovations in medicine
are creating a lot of buzz and are making people in Ohio feel safer about
going in for surgery. Just because there are new technologies or pieces
of equipment for a surgical procedure, however, doesn’t mean that
there isn’t room for surgical mistakes. In fact, a recent study
has shown that increasingly complex procedures may also increase the risk
of surgical errors caused by equipment failures.
Researchers looked at 28 studies on surgical errors and it appears that
nearly 25 percent of mistakes in the operating room are caused by technology
or equipment errors. Many of these errors are fairly common, too, which
calls into question why surgeons and hospitals can’t do more to
reduce the risk of a potentially serious mistake.
The study has also given some thought about how to reduce the risk of surgical
mistakes caused by technology or equipment problems. Researchers found
three separate studies that found preoperative checklists could reduce
the error rate by 50 percent. Going through a generic check of the equipment
to be used in a procedure could go far to preventing medical malpractice, it seems.
This is a simple procedure that hospitals and surgeons could easily implement.
While there may be some cost involved, it would likely be minimal, especially
if it could save hospitals from costly medical malpractice lawsuits. And,
besides, aren’t patients’ lives and well-being more important
than a few dollars?