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Spinal surgeons most likely to commit a surgical error

When Illinois patients are heading for surgery, there will be a significant amount of fear and worry on their part and among their family members. This can be true even when it is a relatively small, minor procedure. However, when there is something more serious being, done such as surgery on the spine, it can be a dangerous circumstance. This is why when there is an incident of medical negligence, there can be a great deal of damage done to the patient. With the recent information that showed spinal surgeons have the greatest percentage of wrong-site surgical mistakes, the fear can grow exponentially.

The vice chair at the Department of Orthopedic Surgery for the NYU Langone Hospital for Joint Diseases is simultaneously working as the director for the Center for Quality and Patient Safety. Because he has a dual role in function and research, he knows how risky surgical procedures being done on the wrong body part can be. In an article that was recently published, he asserts that greater oversight on surgical procedures does not automatically mean that there will be a commensurate reduction in mistakes.

The doctor states that the most recent information shows that half of spine surgeons have committed wrong-site surgery. That is in comparison to slightly more than eight percent of knee surgeons and 21 percent of hand surgeons. He says that the pressure to increase the number of surgeries performed has led to a desire to speed the process and be more efficient. The times at which surgeries are scheduled can lead to these mistakes. While the overwhelming majority of potential mistakes are caught before they hurt anyone, there is still that number that are not.

With spines, the diagnosis and surgery is often complicated with disagreements as to what needs to be done, making this issue more troublesome. The idea that a standard protocol be implemented across the nation is one option that is gaining popularity. Also, having checkpoints before proceeding can be an effective deterrent. Unfortunately, even the most vigilant doctors and hospital staff can make mistakes. This can lead to a patient becoming a victim of a surgical error with long-term damage and even death. Speaking to an attorney about a medical malpractice case can provide information on how to pursue compensation if a mistake has been made and caused harm.

Source: ryotho.com, "Wrong Site Surgery Highest Among Spine Surgeons?," Elizabeth Hofheinz, M.P.H., M.Ed, Accessed on March 1, 2016

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