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Surgical Errors And The Human Factor

  • On Behalf Of Colton Holm
  • Published: August 30, 2019

Montana residents of all ages and stages of health might end up facing the need for a surgery for a variety of reasons. Whether part of a treatment regimen for a disease, reconstruction after an accident, the choice for personal reasons or something else, patients need to trust in the care of their surgical teams. The reality always remains, however, that errors can and do happen during surgeries. In some cases, these errors leave patients with long-term complications. Other patients die due to surgical errors.

Understanding what may contribute to a surgical error can be important so that patients might inquire about these facts when discussing their operations prior to the event. It can also give patients and their families ideas of what they may need to review if an error does occur.

The results of one study that looked at the reasons for surgical mistakes were recently published in the JAMA Open Network. As reported by Becker’s Hospital Review, 56% of the surgical mistakes reviewed in the study were the result of human error. Out of 188 adverse events, mistakes made by surgeons or other surgical staff were involved in 106 cases.

There were many types of problems identified as due to human error but some stood out as responsible for a great number of the adverse events in the study. These included cognitive bias, lack of recognition and even a diminished level of attention on the part of surgical teams. The study report called for efforts to be made on training in these areas.

Colton Holm

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