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More surgical errors predicted despite new precautions

Certain surgical errors are referred to as “never events”, meaning that they should never happen, and that most are simple mistakes that could be prevented. Hospitals and health care professionals in Pennsylvania may put checklists and precautions into place to ensure that surgical errors are minimized, but some may still slip through due to many different circumstances. Language barriers, poor decision-making, and simple distraction on the part of the surgical staff may be just a few examples of contributing factors to these errors. Regardless of how serious the error is, the patient may suffer from anxiety and stress, even without any obvious physical signs.

According to a recent study, surgical errors in Massachusetts are expected to increase by 65 percent once the total results from the previous year are counted. Although most did not cause serious harm to the patient physically, several patients reported feelings of terror and anxiety as the mistake was fixed.

Stronger precaution efforts were implemented after a 2009 study found that using checklists might reduce the number of surgical errors. Several large hospitals were observed after the study, and it was found that many were not using the checklists as recommended during operating procedures.

Regardless of the seriousness of the mistake, a surgical error may be uncomfortable and stressful for the patient. Experts feel these mistakes should never happen, and patients should not be forced to endure another procedure to fix the mistake. Any person who is suffering from the results of a surgical error may benefit from consulting an attorney to discuss their situation.

Source: The Boston Globe, “Surgical errors rise in Mass. despite new controls,” Liz Kowalczyk, July 7, 2013

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