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It takes a team to help doctors prevent medical malpractice

Medical providers spend years of their lives studying medicine in order to help patients with health care problems. It often requires a coordinated effort to help these doctors and nurses avoid a medical malpractice lawsuit, and to defend them successfully when one is commenced. Though New York medical providers work diligently to ensure good quality care, a mistake can result in all parties suffering harm through either physical injury for patients or monetary damages for providers.

One area that could benefit from a more coordinated approach is the operating theater. The danger of leaving a surgical implement inside a patient may seem absurd, but it has happened an estimated 772 times between 2005 and 2012. Of those occurrences, 16 resulted in the death of the patient. One of the easiest methods to prevent an unintentionally retained foreign object is for all items to be counted multiple times.

The item that is most commonly overlooked when a procedure is completed is the surgical sponge. These small items can cause serious complications when left in a patient's body, including pain and infection. Some other steps that can help prevent this complication is open communication among the surgical team and a thorough accounting and inspection of all instruments and tools used during every surgical procedure.

In spite of every precaution, not every mistake can be anticipated. Some of the factors that can contribute to an error involve an emergency operation or when a planned surgery goes awry. New York doctors or other medical providers who find themselves facing a medical malpractice lawsuit may best be served by seeking the guidance of an experienced malpractice defense attorney. Doing so may allow him or her the opportunity to provide a thorough and cohesive defense against the allegations while also protecting one's professional reputation and future medical practice.

Source: infectioncontroltoday., "Preventing Retained Surgical Items is a Team Effort", Kelly M. Pyrek, March 31, 2017

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