Surgical Checklists and Medical Malpractice

Surgical Checklists and Medical Malpractice

Posted By Maher Law Firm || 15-May-2018

In the United States, medical malpractice is among one of the leading causes of death, falling in third place behind cancer and heart disease. However, it is entirely preventable and is often the result of negligence. To combat these egregious medical errors, particularly surgical errors, surgical checklists were created, though many hospitals across the country have failed to utilize them, claiming that they require too much time to implement. According to a study that tracked fatal medical errors in 14 hospitals throughout the state of South Carolina, a surgical checklist only takes about 3 minutes to complete and can save the lives of approximately 100 patients within those hospitals.

How Do Surgical Checklists Work?

According to the South Carolina study, authors said that the checklist used required the surgical teams in their sample to go over a bullet-point list of 19 different items, each pertaining to the patient and the specific procedure being performed. For example, to prevent wrong-patient surgery, a checklist will ask the team to correctly confirm the identity of the patient, if the surgical site was appropriately marked in the right location, and if the patient was given any antibiotics before the surgery. Once the surgery is complete, the checklist will also prompt the team to check for surgical items to ensure none were left in the patient.

What Can Patients Do?

As a patient, it is encouraged that you ask if a surgical checklist will be used prior to the operation. Most hospitals have some type of checklist, so being aware of it before and confirming its completion afterward can help ensure it was effectively implemented. If the facility where you are getting treated does not have a checklist, you might want to consider having your operation done elsewhere. If the patient is too ill or incapacitated after surgery to inquire about the checklist, family members can get involved and ask on their loved one’s behalf.

Medical Malpractice Attorneys in Orlando

If you or a loved one was harmed by a negligent medical professional, it is critical that you seek the assistance of a skilled medical malpractice attorney to ensure you secure the compensation to which you are entitled. At The Maher Law Firm in Orlando, our team of medical malpractice attorneys have been fighting on behalf of injured patients since 1969 and would be honored to do the same for you.

For the fierce legal representation you deserve, call The Maher Law Firm today at (855) 338-0720 to schedule your free initial case evaluation with a knowledgeable member of our team.

Categories: Medical Malpractice
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