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.