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Research highlights surgical error due to human mistakes

Ohio residents will sometimes require surgical procedures to improve their health. When these procedures are done, there is an inherent trust placed in the doctors and other medical professionals who are overseeing the surgery. Even with the medical advancements and technology, human beings are still in charge and that can lead to a surgical error. Those who believe they have suffered a worsened medical condition due to these mistakes should know their potential rights to file a lawsuit for compensation.

A recent study shows that more than 50% of adverse events during surgery came about because of human mistakes, also referred to as human performance deficiencies. The study was conducted by the Baylor College of Medicine. As part of a conference of medical professionals involved in surgery, the number of adverse events during surgery was analyzed on a weekly basis. This took place over six months and there were reviews of human mistakes as they occurred. Using several different facilities, the HPDs were categorized by the following: planning and problem solving; executing their goals; adhering to rules and when they were violated; proper communicating; and working as a team.

Their study showed that during those six months there were 5,300 surgical procedures. 188 had an adverse event. These included fatalities, infections, bleeding, neurological problems and the need for the patient to be re-admitted to the hospital. More than half were due to improper execution, at 51%. 29.3% were due to lack of planning and failure to problem solve. With more than 17 million surgical procedures in the U.S. annually, the rate of approximately 5% resulting in adverse outcomes and half of those because of human error suggests that around 400,000 can be avoided with greater vigilance.

People who have come out worse after surgery are not expecting damage to be done after they have trusted their doctor's judgment. With long-term damage and even death possible after a surgical error, it is imperative for the person and his or her family to know what happened and why. This study shows that human errors during surgery is still a concern. A full investigation is necessary to see if a medical malpractice claim may be possible.

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