Helping the Injured in Tennessee Since 1977

Book seeks to improve nontechnical surgery skills

Tennessee residents may be aware that surgical errors often happen for nontechnical reasons such as poor communication, failures of leadership or a lack of teamwork. These errors, known as "never events" because they are never supposed to happen, actually happen to about 6 percent of hospital patients in relation to surgery and may include surgery on the wrong site, errors with drugs and leaving surgical material behind in a patient.

Researchers at the University of Aberdeen have spent 12 years developing a framework to cut back on these types of errors and giving workshops and presentations on that framework aimed at nurses, anesthetists and surgeons. While this framework is used throughout the world, it has been published for the first time in a handbook for surgeons.

According to one professor of surgery at the University of Aberdeen, the book offers opportunities for analyzing surgical errors as well as for self-assessment and training. Surgeons at all levels of experience and in various specialties can benefit from it.

The consequences of a surgical error can be severe, and an individual who has suffered from a surgical error or whose loved one has may wish to consult an attorney to determine what legal recourse may be available. The medical team or facility may have been negligent in some way. Determining medical negligence means judging whether the patient received a reasonable standard of care. A number of actions might lead to surgical errors and constitute medical malpractice including failing to do certain tests prior to the surgery, failure to record things correctly in the patient's chart and a breakdown in communication during or after the surgery.


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