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Preventing medical malpractice by increasing vigilance in the OR

In an airplane, pilots are isolated inside the cockpit, away from noise and other distractions. This not only prevents unnecessary injury; it also allows the pilots to focus fully on the task at hand. Experts in the medical field have stated that they believe the number of medical malpractice incidents can be reduced by enacting similar conditions in the operating room. 

Medical errors are fairly common, even those considered "never events," which can include wrong site surgery and leaving a medical instrument inside a patient. These instances occur despite advances in medical technology and an increased focused on patient safety and satisfaction. Experts believe that eliminating distractions in the operating room may help prevent unnecessary incidents for patients, whether in New York or another jurisdiction.

Health care facilities can prevent injuries by enacting certain safety measures. This can include fostering an attitude of teamwork and cooperation between staff, eliminating noise and unnecessary activity from the operating room and making sure the entire team is engaged throughout the procedure. These simple steps can prevent harm to patients who are already facing negative health issues.

Hospitals, health care facilities and doctors should make every possible effort to prevent mistakes and undue patient harm. When medical malpractice does occur, New York patients can take action to protect their interests by pursuing a claim against the party or parties believed responsible. Victims of medical mistakes may be eligible for compensation to cover the cost of additional medical treatment, as well as emotional pain and suffering and other monetary damages. If a patient suspects that he or she has suffered because of malpractice, it would be wise to seek a legal opinion as soon as possible.

Source: fiercehealthcare.com, "Surgical never events: How to stop these preventable medical errors once and for all", Ilene MacDonald, June 11, 2015

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