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Surgical Errors Archives

New software improves imaging for liver surgery

Liver surgery can be tricky. The organ is soft and wobbly, which means it can shift positions between the time when a liver tumor is imaged via a CT scan and when a doctor is viewing it during surgery. This can be dangerous when a surgeon is attempting to excise a tumor that is close to major blood vessels. However, scientists at Vanderbilt University have created software that could make liver surgery safer for patients in Pennsylvania and around the world.

Aggressive malpractice environment may result in more harm

Pennsylvania patients who suffered harm during a surgery or medical procedure may be eligible to seek compensation by filing medical malpractice claims. There are supporters who argue that medical malpractice laws should be more strict in order to make it easier for patients to do so.

Overview of Failed Back Surgery Syndrome

Pennsylvania doctors sometimes recommend spinal surgery for back, leg, neck or arm pain. However, a patient who was not a good candidate for it may continue to have pain after surgery. This can also happen when the procedure is performed incorrectly. Patients that experience persistent or new pain after spinal surgery often suffer from what is called Failed Back Surgery Syndrome, or FBSS.

Patient identification mistakes: A huge problem in the U.S.

Pennsylvania, just like the rest of the United States, is still experiencing a significant amount of surgical errors due to incorrect patient identification. Some of the main causes of patient ID issues include outdated technological systems and incorrect sharing of medical records. Such patient errors can still be avoided if a surgeon or the operating room staff follow proper protocol and procedure when checking the patient prior to beginning the operation.

Limiting doctors' hours could result in patient complications

Pennsylvania patients may not know that the American Council of Graduate Medical Education, the governing body for physicians who are in training, limits the amount of hours residents can be at the hospital. While it would make sense that reducing fatigue would reduce medical errors, it appears that the data from a 2012 study shows the opposite.

Surgical errors and disclosure

Many Pennsylvania residents will undergo surgery in their lifetimes. A survey involving surgeons at three hospitals run by the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs found that the majority of surgeons will report an adverse event when something goes wrong during a procedure. However, the study found that 55 percent would apologize to the patient or patient's family or discuss whether the error could have been prevented.