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Room for improvement in post-surgery care

For most residents of Pittsburgh who decide to undergo a surgery, it is the fear of being under anesthesia that makes them nervous. They are also often concerned about surgical errors that may be committed during the time they are under. Most believe that making it through the surgery is the hard part, not the time after. According to a study recently reported, it appears that more of an emphasis should be put on the period of time following a surgery. Results of this study indicate that medical mistakes often happen while a patient is recovering.

The study followed a total of 50 patients who had surgery somewhere on their digestive tract over the course of 2008 through 2010. Of the 352 medical errors recorded, well over half, 256 to be precise were due to what were considered to be "process errors."

Although the study providing this information was conducted in the United Kingdom at a large teaching hospital, a doctor working a similar hospital based in the United States indicated the findings would likely be similar if the study had been conducted here. The errors found in the study took all forms including:

  • Issues with the administration of drugs
  • Problems with the way in which test results were delivered
  • Providing proper patient instructions

A total of 85 percent of these mistakes due to errors in the process were preventable. While some of the medical errors uncovered caused harm to the surgical patients or caused them to have to stay at the hospital for a longer period of time, fortunately none of them resulted in death.

Source: Reuters, "Study finds errors in post-surgery care are common," Kerry Grens, Oct. 2, 2012

Our Pennsylvania law firm handles medical malpractice cases, including those pertaining to the type discussed in today's post. Please visit our Pittsburgh surgical error page to learn more about us.

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