Surgical Checklists Prevent Medical Errors

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Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers weigh in on surgical checklists helping to reduce the occurrence of medical erorrs. Could something as simple as a checklist help prevent healthcare professionals from making serious medical errors? Unfortunately, medical errors happen more frequently than you might think, and some can lead to serious health complications and fatalities. More hospitals across the country are implementing the use of checklists, particularly in operating rooms, as an effective way to reduce the number of preventable errors.

When undergoing surgery, you must trust that your surgeon is going to take every precaution necessary to complete the procedure successfully and without complications. In some cases, the simple act of completing every task on the checklist can prevent any potential mistakes.

Study Looks at Medical Mistakes in Surgical Patients

Reducing medical errors is crucial, not only in the operating room, but during postoperative care as well. One recent study looked at data from 50 surgical patients from 2008 to 2010. According to researchers, surgical patients are subjected to five procedural errors during postoperative care. Approximately 50 percent of those errors will cause harm to the patient. To help reduce the number of preventable medical errors in the operating room, the World Health Organization developed a surgical safety checklist that has been implemented in many hospitals in the United States. The checklist identified three phases of an operation, including:

  • Before the induction of anesthesia
  • Before the initial incision
  • Before the patient leaves the operating room

Each phase has a specific list of tasks that must be completed before the surgical team can proceed with the operation. For example, before anesthesia is administered, the checklist will ensure that the surgeon is operating on the correct patient for the correct procedure. By closely following each step on the list, health care professionals can avoid some of the most common and preventable errors that endanger the lives of patients. The surgical checklist can be also adapted to different practice settings. For example, a neurosurgeon who is treating a brain injury victim will have a checklist that is specific to that extremely complex and specialized surgical procedure.

Unfortunately, medical errors can occur even if the medical professionals in charge followed a checklist. When surgical errors do occur, the effects can be serious, and even life-threatening. They may require corrective surgery and ongoing medical attention, depending on the nature of the error. A skilled medical malpractice lawyer can explain your legal rights and offer experienced legal counsel.

Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton Represent Victims of Medical Errors

If your healthcare provider made a medical error during a surgical procedure, which caused you to become seriously injured, contact the Baltimore medical malpractice lawyers at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton at your earliest convenience. Surgical checklists can help avoid preventable mistakes during surgery. We will work closely with you to determine who is responsible for your injuries. Our skilled and dedicated team will seek the maximum financial compensation you deserve. To schedule a free consultation, call us today at 800-547-4LAW (4529) or contact us online.

Our offices are located in Baltimore, Columbia, Glen Burnie, and Towson, allowing us to represent medical malpractice victims in Maryland, including those in Anne Arundel County, Baltimore County, Carroll County, Harford County, Howard County, Montgomery County, Maryland’s Western Counties, Prince George’s County, Queen Anne’s County, Southern Maryland, and the Eastern Shore, as well as the communities of Catonsville, Essex, Halethorpe, Middle River, Rosedale, Gwynn Oak, Brooklandville, Dundalk, Pikesville, Nottingham, Windsor Mill, Lutherville, Timonium, Sparrows Point, Ridgewood, and Elkridge.