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Reducing surgeon error through education

Nov 29, 2015 | Surgical Errors

When people in New York seek medical attention, they are relying on the expertise of their physician to evaluate, diagnose and treat their illnesses properly. Unfortunately, when a doctor makes mistakes, the effects can be devastating. This may be particularly true for surgeons, who often treat patients who are at their most vulnerable. A careless surgeon can easily commit a fatal surgical error or cause serious injury and organ damage.

For this reason, some medical educators, including a group from the University of Aberdeen that has recently published a book on the subject, are recognizing the importance of training surgeons in skills that go beyond the technical. While a surgeon may have the necessary skills to open a patient up and address internal issues, there are other factors that make a surgeon competent. These include good decision-making, working well as part of a team and demonstrating leadership in and out of the operating room.

Surgeons who are lacking in these skills may be a danger to their patients. Some patients may leave the operating room in a worsened condition than when they entered. Other problems include wrong-site surgery, surgical equipment left inside the patient and pre-operative care errors.

People who believe that they were injured due to a surgical mistake may wish to speak with an experienced medical malpractice attorney. The same is true for family members of someone who died or became disabled as a result of faulty surgical performance. Legal counsel can review the patient’s hospital records and obtain the opinions of medical experts in order to determine whether a lawsuit should be brought against the surgeon and the health care facility where the procedure took place seeking appropriate damages.