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Technology being employed to reduce surgical errors

The trust you place in a doctor performing surgery must be absolute. The expectation is that the doctor is up to the task and that you will come out on the other end of your procedure ready for a healthy recovery. We sometimes view doctors as possessing almost magical powers with their ability to help people through the use of their scalpels and their skills.

However, truth be told, even the most proficient surgeon is a human being and, as such, capable of making mistakes. But what if surgeons could get some help from technology? In an effort to help doctors reduce surgical errors, Canadian researchers are developing a system to do just that.

The system in question is currently being called a “black box” by the researchers. The term is, of course, a reference to the kind of black box that is housed in aircraft to track the actions of pilots and planes. But while aviation black boxes are primarily used to recover data after a disaster, this surgical version is hoped to help prevent disasters.

The black box is actually a multi-component system. Located inside the operating room are cameras and microphones, which record and send data to a device similar to a computer, located in another area. As a surgeon operates, the device is able to determine through their movements if the best techniques are being utilized. Use of the system can actually provide doctors with immediate feedback.

Since the black box records all of the events during an operation, doctors can later go back and analyze the captured footage as a way to help improve their surgical skills.

Unfortunately, should you or member of your family ever incur an injury due to a surgical error, there is currently no standard in place for using a black box to go back and demonstrate what went wrong.

Therefore, if such a situation arises, you may wish to consult with an Arizona medical malpractice attorney. An attorney who handles such cases may be able to secure your medical records and perform an investigation into the incident to help you seek compensation.

Source: CNN, “Surgical 'black box' could reduce errors,” Dr. Chethan Sathya, Aug. 22, 2014

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