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Medical equipment responsible for 25 percent of surgical errors

When New Mexico patients undergo an operation, they’re taking on substantial risks. Although the majority of doctors are competent, doctor errors can occur, especially during complex operations. Thankfully, researchers work to bring problems related to medical errors to light.

Although new technology is aimed at reducing the likelihood of surgical errors, according to a recent study, it actually causes more problems. The more complicated the surgical equipment, it seems, the more likely that some mistake will occur. However, hospitals may be able to avoid a large number of these technology-related errors. Most often, the surgical errors aren’t caused by the device itself but by human error. In many cases, the necessary equipment is not available and ready for the operation, or it was not working. 

To correct this problem, hospital staff members may consider implementing a simple pre-operation checklist to make sure that all of the equipment is within reach and working properly. It is unknown whether hospital staff members, who may already be constantly pressed for time, would be willing to employ another procedure. Some hospitals across the nation may have surgery checklists in place.

Although high-tech devices have been shown to cause errors, medical equipment also has a tremendous positive impact on health care. Without it, some doctors would likely be unwilling to perform risky—and life-saving—operations.

Unfortunately, operation room errors can have a long-term impact on victims and their families. Victims of doctor negligence may be able to receive compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit. The settlement may cover the victim’s medical expenses. In these circumstances, working with an attorney is often helpful.  

Source: Fox 5, “Technology mishaps behind 1 in 4 operating room errors,” July 25, 2013

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