New device could make surgery safer for patients in Texas

A new surgical device has the potential to reduce the number of harmful mistakes that are made by surgeons in operating rooms.

Events that should never occur in surgery happen frequently in operating rooms in Texas and throughout the country. According to research from Johns Hopkins University, at least 4,000 surgical errors are made during operations every year in the U.S. Although operational errors are common, a new device, which is being developed by researchers in Canada, has the potential to prevent them.

How does this device work?

According to CNN, this device is known as the 'surgical black box' and includes components that are used inside and outside of an operating room. Inside of the operating room, small video cameras are used to track the movements of the operating medical professionals. Outside of the operating room, a computer-like system:

  • Analyzes the footage collected by the cameras
  • Identifies when mistakes are made
  • Provides instant feedback to the surgeons

However, this device may be able to perform even more tasks to prevent medical negligence in the future. For example, this surgical black box will eventually be able to assess how delicately surgeons handle organs and the way that they stitch. It will also be able to determine when surgeons start to use techniques that are associated with higher complication rates and analyze how well surgeons communicate with others during stressful situations.

Surgeons often don't recognize their mistakes

Not only is a device like this necessary because it has the potential to reduce surgical errors, but also because many surgeons do not recognize when they have made a harmful mistake. During his initial research, CNN states that the primary creator of the surgical black box discovered that surgeons make approximately 20 mistakes during every operation. He also found that these errors occur regardless of how experienced the surgeon was.

When will it be implemented in operating rooms?

Up to this point, this device has been tested during 40 laparoscopic weight loss surgeries, states CNN. In the future, it will be tested in hospitals in Denmark, Canada and parts of South Africa. However, talks of its implementation in U.S. hospitals are also underway. If hospitals do decide to use this device, its implementation could occur quickly because it does not require approval from the Food and Drug Administration since it is not considered a medical device.

In the meantime, the lives of many patients in Texas continue to be threatened when their surgeons make a preventable mistake during an operation. If you incurred serious harm as a result of a surgical error, speak with an attorney in your area to determine what compensation may be available to you.

Keywords: malpractice, medical, surgical, error