When Kentucky surgeons face stress on the job, the potential consequences may be troubling for their patients. According to a study conducted by researchers at Columbia University, surgeons make up to 66 percent more errors during stressful moments. The researchers used a technology to track the electrical activity of a surgeon's heart while performing procedures in the operating room. During periods of stress, surgeons were more likely to make errors. Some of these mistakes may cause tears to tissue, burns or bleeding in the patient.
The stress involved does not need to be major in order to lead to increased surgical errors, researchers found. Some of the issues could be as simple as negative thoughts or loud noises in the operating room. Every year, between 250,000 and 440,000 people lose their lives due to medical mistakes across the country. Some of the most significant errors can occur during surgery, and the consequences of these mistakes can be significant and long-lasting. Improved strategies to manage surgical stress could help to save lives and prevent injuries to patients.
The study made use of technology used to measure physiological data during workouts to examine stress on the heart during surgery. In addition, researchers obtained laparoscopic video recordings of the surgeries that could be used to document surgical errors, including those that may initially pass unnoticed by medical staff. The research also highlighted the distractions constantly occurring in an operating room.
When patients go in for surgery, they expect to resolve their health issues rather than emerge with more significant problems. In some cases, injuries may be caused when a physician is negligent and fails to live up to his or her professional responsibilities. A medical malpractice attorney can review a patient's situation to determine the potential to seek compensation for the resulting losses.