According to a new study, stress affects a surgeon dramatically in an operating room, and can increase his chances of making an error by a staggering 66 percent.
The results of the study were reported in the British Journal of Surgery. The researchers attached a device that measures electrocardiogram data to the surgeon during surgery, and analysed the duration of time between heart beats in order to determine his levels of stress. They also used cameras to record footage of errors.
The researchers found that surgeons made 66 percent more errors during periods of high stress. The researchers say that they were surprised at the drastic increase in errors made during periods of high stress as well the number of distractions surgeons have to deal with in operating rooms.
There can be several causes of surgeon stress. Difficult or hectic work schedules, complex surgeries, loud noises in the operating room – all of these can increase stress, and can leave the surgeon at risk of a potentially dangerous error. Distractions in an operating room can also increase stress for a surgeon. These distractions can be in the form of noises, unnecessary conversations between team members, and the sounds of people walking in and out of the operating room. Newer distractions in the form of smart phone use in the operating room are also stress boosters. Advancements in medical technology have meant an increase in the number of alarms and monitors in an operating room, increasing stress levels.
A surgery can be a traumatic experience. For the majority of patients, a surgery can be successful with no negative consequences as the result of errors. In far too many cases however, patients are left injured or, even worse, dead as a result of errors during the surgery. These errors can include wrong site surgery, wrong patient surgery in which the wrong surgery is performed on the patient, extreme blood loss, objects like surgical sponges and instruments left behind in the patient’s body and other errors. Even less severe errors can cause possibly serious harm to a patient.
If your loved one was injured as result of a surgical error, call an experienced Indianapolis medical malpractice lawyer at Montross Miller and discuss your options for a medical negligence claim for damages.