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Surgical Safety Checklist Could Reduce Deaths by 22 Percent, Study Says

Surgical SafetyMedical malpractice is the third leading killer in the United States, falling only behind cancer and heart disease. It is also completely preventable, which is why hospitals, doctors, surgeons, and even scientific researchers are working to find a way to reduce the number of deaths from preventable but fatal medical errors. The latest progress comes in the form of a surgical checklist, which experts are saying could reduce surgical deaths by as much as 22 percent.

Three Minute Checklist Saves 100 Lives

Surgical checklists are not a new concept. In fact, most hospitals have them. The problem is that not a lot of them actually use these life-saving lists. Instead, compliance can be spotty, often because surgical teams think they take too much time to implement. However, the recent study, which tracked fatal medical errors in 14 hospitals throughout South Carolina, determined that the list only takes about three minutes to complete. More importantly, the list was said to save roughly 100 lives inside of those hospitals.

How Does it Work?

Study authors say that the checklist simply asks the surgical team to go over a bullet-list of 19 different items. Each pertains directly to the patient and their procedure. For example, the list asks if the team has confirmed the identity of the patient, if the surgical site has been clearly marked (and is marked in the appropriate location), and whether the patient was given antibiotics prior to surgery. The team is also prompted to check for surgical items, which is one of the most common but concerning causes of post-surgical complications.

Being an Informed Patient Can Save Your Life

Since most hospitals have at least some type of surgical checklist, patients are encouraged to ask whether the list will be used prior to an operation. Family members of the patient are also advised to ask about the list once the surgery has been completed, as this can ensure that it was adhered to throughout the entire process. If such a list does not exist (or you are told it does not), it may be worth considering another location for your operation.

When Medical Malpractice Causes Death or Injury

While patients can reduce their risk of medical error by staying informed, they cannot eliminate it entirely. When death or injury occurs, Corsiglia, McMahon & Allard, LLP is there to help. Dedicated and experienced, our San Jose medical malpractice attorneys will aggressively pursue the most compensation possible for your situation. Schedule your personalized consultation by calling (408) 289-1417 today.

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My experience with Attorney Brad Corsiglia during my recent medical malpractice case was nothing short of amazing given the very stressful circumstances. I was fortunate to find Brad highly recommended from a mutual contact and from the very beginning of the process, Brad was truly engaged and knowledgeable in understanding my case and providing input on what avenues were available to me. Michelle M.