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What do you know about avoiding surgical errors?

You have an upcoming medical procedure that brings you no end of anxiety. How do you avoid becoming a statistic and suffering a surgical error?

OR Today provides insights into preventing mistakes during your procedure. Understand how to advocate for your health and peace of mind.

Prevalent surgical mishaps

One way to prevent surgical errors is to learn the most common ones, so you take steps to protect yourself. Examples of prevalent mistakes include anesthesia errors, surgical items and foreign objects left inside the patient, wrong-patient/procedure/side surgeries and damaged nerves.

Contributing factors

What increases the chances of a patient suffering a surgical error? Employees tasked with double-checking OR booking documents may drop the ball in their duties, or hospital staff may hurry through patient verification. Another common reason for surgical mishaps is an inconsistent focus on patient well-being. Those in leadership positions at a medical facility may not engage with staff as much as they should, and surgical draping may conceal site marks.

Culture of safety

Before the day of your surgery, look into the medical facility’s culture of safety. That way, you know staff feel empowered to report surgical mistakes and near-mistakes without fear of retribution. Further, hospitals with a culture of safety recognize staff members who express their concerns.

Besides a culture of safety, you may feel more comfortable receiving treatment at a facility that audits procedure and policy implementation. OR staff should also adhere to evidence-supported practices and guidelines when treating patients.

Take your health into your hands by protecting yourself. Get proactive about sidestepping medical malpractice.