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New research tries to reduce non-technical surgical errors

| Oct 7, 2015 | Surgical Errors

Surgical procedures and potential surgical errors in Newton are often considered to have something to do with a careless surgeon and other technical mistakes. However, greater attention is being paid to other factors that can lead to mistakes during surgical procedures. According to research, as many as 12 percent of patients in hospitals are victimized by what is known as an “adverse event.” Approximately half of those occur in surgery.

There are numerous types of mistakes that can happen during surgery including equipment being left inside a patient, infections that could be avoided, medication mistakes or wrong-site surgery. These can result in severe complications, extended hospitalization and even death. While the physical errors are most often taken as the biggest issue, non-technical mistakes made by the medical professionals involved in the procedure can be just as dangerous.

The concern over behavior by anesthesiologists, surgeons and nurses has sparked the creation of a handbook to provide plans and strategies to avoid these errors. Since the operating room can be so dangerous a place for patients, greater attention is being paid to the decisions that are made, leadership of the surgeon, teams working together for one goal and being cognizant of situations and potential situations. Those working on these attempted improvements consulted with various medical professionals across numerous locations to gather information as to how to improve these factors and avoid medical errors.

Although there is greater scrutiny on mistakes that are made based on communication problems, the lack of attention and failure to work together, that does not mean these mistakes will immediately stop or have even reduced to a significant degree. Those who have suffered an adverse effect because of what they believe was a non-technical error made during surgery need to understand how to be compensated for what happened. Speaking to a legal professional about a possible lawsuit is the first step to pursuing a case.

Source:, “Making surgery safer — new book outlines non-technical skills for surgeons,” Robert Turbyne, Sept. 21, 2015


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