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Could recorded surgeries reduce the number of surgical errors?

An uncanny number of surgical errors are reported every year in the United States. Patients in Delaware should be aware of the risk when going in for surgery. The idea of recording operations using so-called black boxes could change, or at least shed light on, surgical errors, what causes them, and how to potentially prevent them in the future.

In 2003, a woman in another state who was having breast implant surgery died after receiving too much of the anesthetic propofol. A bill has been suggested that would require healthcare facilities to offer patients the option for their surgery to be videotaped. Further, if passed, this law would give patients the option for advance directive to have all surgeries recorded. The law would be named after the woman who died because of the aforementioned malpractice.

There is concern that the content obtained by the audiovisual recording black boxes in medical operating rooms will be used against doctors. The fact is, there are too many surgical errors that are not being disclosed, and the public is concerned about people's safety in the operating room. Recording such procedures does not have to be incriminating either; it can merely be a way to understand why a patient had a poor surgical outcome.

Delaware citizens who have been victims of surgical errors or who have lost a loved one because of surgical errors might find that recordings in the operating room could help determine fault. If doctor negligence is suspected, a recording could be used as evidence when filing a medical malpractice claim. With or without recorded evidence, a patient, or the family of a deceased patient, who feels they have suffered because of medical malpractice may have the right to restitution by filing a medical malpractice claim.

Source:, "Are Recorded Surgeries the Future of Medical Malpractice Investigation and Medical Error Prevention?", Michael C. Ksiazek, July 29, 2015

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