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Surgical errors and issues with technological advances


For patients and doctors in Newton, new equipment and the advancement of technology was supposed to improve patient outcomes, make procedures safer and help everyone feel better about undergoing a medical procedure. Unfortunately, the technological advancements are only as effective as those who are overseeing their implementation and technological issues have come to the forefront amid concerns that these machines are not being checked as they should be before the operation commences.

Approximately 25 percent of surgical errors made in an operating room are due to issues with equipment or technology. It's unavoidable that slight mistakes will be made during surgery, but if a doctor and staff are relying on a piece of equipment and take that as a signal that they don't have to be as vigilant because of the machine's supposed design, it can place the patient in jeopardy. Certain operations are tech-heavy and these operations have been found to have a larger number or problems with the equipment that is being used.

The medical staff overseeing a surgery is supposed to make certain checks and be properly trained in its use. But when there is a piece of machinery being relied upon to do the bulk of the work, it's possible that a negligent operating room staff will miss important factors. Having a checklist as to what needs to be done before implementing the equipment to perform the surgery is wise.

Experts are suggesting that this should become a routine part of a surgery that is using advanced technology. The percentages of errors break down as follows -- 37 percent were due to an absence of needed equipment, 44 percent were due to problems with the machinery being configured and set properly and 33 percent were due to a malfunction.

Ironically, surgeries performed using new technology can become more complicated than when doctors and their staffs were doing everything themselves. Regardless of how the mistake happened, those who were damaged by it can experience long-term problems as a result. A worsened condition or fatality due to an error on the part of the staff, whether it was due to machinery or not, should not be ignored. Those who were harmed should contact a legal professional experienced in surgical errors to consider moving forward with a lawsuit.

Source: Live Science, "1 in 4 Surgery Errors Due to Technology Problems," Bahar Gholipour, July 25, 2013

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