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Avoiding surgical error in the operating room

As some Oklahoma people have unfortunately found out, surgical mistakes happen and may be responsible for many adverse events suffered by hospital patients. Some of these errors may include an infection that might have been avoided, surgery on the wrong site and an instrument or other item left inside a patient.

A book has been released addressing the issue, following a study on identifying behaviors needed for successful surgery in addition to the operation itself. These behaviors include lack of nontechnical skills. Areas such as making correct decisions, lack of teamwork in a surgical team and awareness may contribute to errors in the operating room. The research into this topic was performed at a university in Scotland to identify and develop a rating system for surgical performance to be used in the operating room. This framework is now used in the United Kingdom and other countries around the world, and is released as a helpful handbook to improve surgical skills. It is aimed at not only surgeons, but also anesthesiologists and scrub practitioners.

A major component of the book is to identify what behavior is necessary for a surgeon to complete a surgery successfully. It includes a system description and how to implement training, assessment of the process, analysis and reflection back on the surgery to monitor its implementation and success. The hope is that this type of model will help prevent surgical errors in the future.

A person who has been harmed by a surgical error may face extensive recuperation or possible additional procedures to correct the condition. Such a patient may want to consult with a medical malpractice attorney to determine if there is any legal recourse available to obtain compensation for the damages that have been sustained.

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