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Stress can result in a surgeon mistake and patient injury

On Behalf of | Jan 4, 2019 | Medical Malpractice

Louisianans and people across the nation place their trust in doctors and other medical professionals every day. While most will provide the proper level of care and help those who are ill, injured or suffering from a condition, medical errors are unfortunately common. These can cause serious injury and death. Studies are frequently done to assess these incidents. One from Columbia University has found that a surgeon mistake can come about because of stress. This can be an important factor after a surgical error has harmed a patient. Those who were impacted by this or believe they might have been must have legal assistance to investigate the case.

In the study, when surgeons were experiencing stress on a short-term basis, the electrical activity of their hearts were tested. During this time – which could have been impacted by something as simple as a loud noise or thinking negatively – they were found to be at higher risk for errors leading to patients having burns, tissue tears and bleeding episodes. Since as many as 440,000 deaths in the U.S. are caused by medical errors each year and a large number happen during surgeries, this can be key when assessing if there was a mistake made.

The study used the technology to measure a surgeon’s heartbeat with a shirt that was originally designed to measure athletes’ heartbeats as they worked out. Stress levels of the surgeon were subsequently compared to various moments when performing surgery. Video recordings were also used to coincide with the measurements. The data indicated that short-term stress could raise the chance of a surgeon mistake by as much as two-thirds. Stress has long been a concern for medical professionals as physician burnout has increasingly been cited as a health risk for patients.

Operating room distractions can range from people talking, others entering and exiting the room, equipment issues, and the sounding of alarms. If a person has been injured during a surgical procedure or there was a loss of a loved one, the cause is an imperative factor in pursuing compensation in a legal filing. The range of reasons can vary and having legal assistance to examine the case is key. A law firm experienced in medical malpractice can help with every aspect and pursuing a lawsuit.


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