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Technological mistakes make up a large portion of medical errors

Patients going in for surgery put a great deal of trust in their surgeons that everything will turn out as planned. After all, these are medical professionals who have gone through years of education and specialized training. Unfortunately for many residents of Providence, as well as elsewhere in the country, surgical mistakes cause serious injuries and worsened medical conditions every year.

There are numerous ways a surgical error can cause a patient serious injury, from an overtired doctor to miscommunication among medical staff. However, states LiveScience, equipment or technological errors are responsible for about one out of every four mistakes in the operating room. Equipment failure accounts for about 24 percent of mistakes involving technological equipment. These adverse events are particularly prevalent during surgical procedures that utilize advanced equipment, such as heart procedures or brain surgery.

There are three main types of surgical errors involving medical equipment, which include:

  • Malfunctioning technology
  • Issues with a device’s settings or configuration
  • Unavailability of the necessary equipment

Studies have shown that implementing training programs, briefing tools and equipment checks can reduce these errors by half. The National Center for Biotechnology Information has recommended that all medical facilities implement equipment checks as a part of every surgery, and that guidelines are included in the World Health Organization’s checklist regarding medical technology.

Increasing and ever-changing advancements in medical technology mean that high-tech equipment is being used in more and more surgical procedures every day. If the medical community takes steps to address the common issues that lead to adverse events, it may save lives.

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