It is estimated that 12 percent of patients will experience an adverse event in a hospital, with half of those occurring while in surgery. Adverse events include leaving an object in a patient, infections that could have been avoided or the death of a patient. Researchers from the University of Aberdeen have identified several non-technical skills that those in an operating room may need to help avoid these accidents.
Based on their data, they came up with rating systems called the skills frameworks for nesthesiologists, surgeons and scrub practitioners. Their findings were published in a new book called "Enhancing Surgical Performance: A Primer in Non-Technical Skills". It examines how human error and the limitations of surgeons may impact the outcome of a surgery based on empirical evidence. It also encourages surgeons to look closer at their ability to communicate and work effectively within a team atmosphere to perform better in the operating room.
The book also examines how doctors around the world are aiming to make surgery safer and more effective. A professor at the University of Aberdeen who acted as an adviser says that it can be helpful for surgeons in all areas. It may act as a guide for self-reflection and analysis to ensure that mistakes are highlighted and corrected in the future.
A patient who has been harmed by a surgical mistake such as infection or wrong-site surgery may wish to consult with an attorney who has experience in medical malpractice litigation. After a review of the patient's hospital records and the opinion of a medical expert, the attorney may determine that there was a failure to exhibit the requisite standard of care, making the health care practitioner and facility financially responsible for the resulting damages that have been sustained.