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Erie Medical Malpractice Attorney Video In The Or

January 22, 2011, ERIE, PA — The operating room is a secret place. Patients are sedated and have no meaningful memory of what goes on there. Operative reports are scrubbed clean so that each procedure reads like it’s supposed to read. And if something goes wrong? Well, you can bet that no one in that room is going to talk about it. Nurses and other professionals follow the “white wall” code of silence. All of which leaves patients and families who suffer from surgical mistakes to search, often in vain, for answers.

We’ve published a recent article in our Erie medical malpractice lawyer library on the subject of videotaping operative procedures. You can find it HERE .

Video or audio recording of events in the O.R. is a timely subject to consider. Some jurisdictions, like Massachusetts , have considered legislation that would require video recording of operating room procedures. The subject is unlikely to go away as more and more people realize that the secrecy of the O.R. is hurting, not helping, patient safety. See, for example, the story of the doctor who refused to change his latex gloves even though a latex allergy was killing his patient.

Doctors, predictably, have resisted the intrusion into their secret O.R. activities. They complain that the technology is too expensive (It’s not. There are cameras all over a modern hospital. Adding a couple more won’t add much add’l cost). They complain that the video won’t show enough detail to make a difference (Perhaps, although it will show more than a report scrubbed clean after the fact). They complain that patients are too stupid or ignorant to grasp the meaning of much of what goes on in the O.R. and so should be kept in the dark. Better that the ignorant be kept ignorant, I suppose, is what they’re suggesting. They wring their hands and worry aloud that privacy would be nearly impossible to manage (It wouldn’t. Private medical records and diagnostics are managed reasonably well. There’s no reason why video would be any more difficult to manage).

Perhaps most bizarrely, doctors publicly wonder if a video might cause a doctor to act in a way that is contrary to a patient’s best interest. What? Do they suggest that doctors will act in the best interest of the patient if they know their activities will be kept secret but, if they know that their actions might be reviewed by others they’ll be less likely to do their best?

As Erie medical malpractice attorneys, we have seen too often the nearly impenetrable wall of secrecy that surrounds operating room mistakes and believe the time has come to face facts. We are not better off being ignorant. And even though most doctors and most staff are highly professional, committed people who do their best for their patients, not every doctor can be blindly trusted and even the best have days when they make tragic mistakes. The technology is available to us to inexpensively create a factual record of what happens to us when we’re at our most vulnerable (i.e., sedated and in surgery) and hospitals should make use of it. We believe that Erie surgical mistakes will be reduced; that arrogance and pride will be less likely to dominate decision making in the O.R.; and that patient safety will be improved by creating a real time record of O.R. activities.

Contacting a Pennsylvania Medical Malpractice Lawyer

If you or someone in your family has suffered a serious injury as a result of a surgical error in a northwest Pennsylvania hospital, an experienced Pennsylvania medical malpractice attorney can help you find out what happened and, if appropriate, to obtain some measure of compensation for your harm. For a free consultation with one of our Pennsylvania injury lawyers, call locally 814-580-5017 or toll free at 877-505-9548.

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