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Surgical errors can occur due to doctor phone use

Louisianans who need to have a medical procedure will undoubtedly be apprehensive about it. Medical treatment can be intimidating and to compound the concerns about the surgery itself, doctors can make mistakes. These errors happen all too frequently. Statistically, it is possible that thousands of people die on an annual basis because of a surgeon mistake. Some will suffer a worsened condition that can negatively affect their lives. One issue that is garnering more attention as a cause is a distracted doctor.

Research from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine indicates that the number of medical mistakes that happen annually might be as high as 250,000. This is two to three times higher than what researchers previously believed. The Food and Drug Administration says that medication errors kill at least one person daily and more than one million suffer injuries. Although doctors are not machines and mistakes are inevitable, one worry is the growing prevalence of doctors using their phones while performing surgery.

A patient who was having a heart procedure died after her doctor was found to have been using his phone for various purposes more than 50 times while the surgery was taking place. He also took a photo of the equipment and posted it on social media. Another case involved a doctor sending text messages of an inappropriate nature while performing surgery. The doctor had done this previously. Doctors argue against mandating that they cannot have their phones with them in case of emergency. However, there are cleanliness and privacy issues.

There is not a precise number of how many medical mistakes are made because of phone use and doctors being distracted, but this is a problem that should be considered if a person is unexpectedly injured during a procedure or a family loses a loved one. For people who believe that a medical error or medical negligence contributed to a loved one's worsened condition or death, it is important to discuss a medical malpractice case with an attorney.

Source: foxnews.com, "Are distracted doctors risking patients' safety?," Dr. Manny Alvarez, July 17, 2017

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