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New Mexican patients and disclosure of surgical error

New Mexican surgery patients may not always know if something goes wrong in surgery. A survey of more than 60 surgeons working for Veterans Affairs centers revealed that only 55 percent of surgeons reported that they had issued an apology for a preventable surgical error. The Center for Healthcare Organization and Implementation Research study found that surgeons who had negative attitudes about disclosure also had greater anxiety about surgical outcomes and what would happen when they disclosed an error.

One professor at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health explained that doctors often have a difficult time when it comes to disclosing errors to patients. Nonetheless, most doctors acknowledge that patients have the right to know when something has gone wrong during an operation. The professor also explained that the need for confidence among surgeons often conflicts with the necessity of disclosing mistakes.

Johns Hopkins was one of the first hospitals to implement an error disclosure policy in 2000. The goal of this error disclosure policy is to encourage surgeons to disclose promptly and take responsibility for their mistakes. In return, the health care workers who acknowledge mistakes are not punished by the hospital for reporting the error. Classic surgical errors include structural damage, leaving sponges behind and other mistakes that can lead to long-term physical damage.

A surgical error can have lasting medical and emotional consequences on a patient. Victims of medical malpractice may be entitled to seek compensation through a lawsuit. From wrong-site surgeries to anesthesia errors, there are a variety of mistakes that can lead to serious medical complications or even death. Injured victims may be eligible to receive lost wages, medical expenses and other types of damages.

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