Featured News 2016 Surgery Errors Due to Equipment Malfunction

Surgery Errors Due to Equipment Malfunction

Technology is more advanced than ever before and new, unprecedented advances occur every day. From mobile banking apps, to self-driving cars, to high-tech medical equipment in the operating room, technology has virtually changed every aspect of our lives.

While technology has improved the quality of American's lives in many ways and made everything easier and faster, we cannot forget that when technology fails us, everything can come to a screeching halt – including surgery.

According to Live Science, "technology or equipment issues cause one in four operating room errors" per a study published July 25, 2013 in the journal BMJ Quality & Safety. Researchers also found that the typical operation involves 15 errors and equipment failure was responsible for 24% of those errors.

Equipment Errors Too Common in the OR

The researchers discovered that a substantial proportion of the operating room errors are traced back to medical equipment, Live Science reported. What's more, those operations, such as heart surgeries that relied heavily on medical equipment, had more equipment issues than surgeries that relied on simpler technologies.

"There is clear benefit in the use of preoperative checklist-bases systems, by which a large proportion of equipment-related error and overall error can be reduced," said the researchers who conducted the study. The researchers placed equipment problems in the following categories:

  • Equipment settings and configuration problems (44%)
  • Necessary equipment not available (37%)
  • Medical device malfunction (33%)

Earlier studies found medical errors affected up to 16% of patients, with surgical errors representing about 50% of all of medical malpractice situations.

As medical technology continues to advance, we cannot ignore the fact that technology will increase in all surgical specialties, which means the chances of medical equipment failure will increase accordingly.

If you have been injured in surgery as a result of medical equipment malfunction, contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney for legal advice!

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