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How do distractions make a big impact on surgical errors?

When you realize medical malpractice happened because of negligence during a surgery, your first instinct may be to panic.

Understanding the seriousness of distractions that take surgeons’ minds and attention away from an operation is the first step to noticing medical errors.

Sudden loud noises

According to the National Library of Medicine, the slip of a scalpel or knife during a delicate part of an operation can happen when an electronic noise or loud voice interrupts a doctor. Increased machine noises and even yelling in the operating room are sources of irritation that can take a surgeon’s mind off of what is in front of them.

Interactions during important times

Nonessential discussions between staff members can also potentially put a patient in danger if the surgeon has to stop a task to warn them to stop talking. A break in a procedure can make the surgeon forget an important step, which is an issue that often leads to health complications for the patient later on.

Discussions among residents who are watching the surgery live can also create stress or confusion for the doctor and their staff during an operation.

Mistakes with equipment

When prepping for the surgery and using supplies during it, simple errors can cause big problems. A staff member may mislabel equipment used during this time or fail to provide the correct medication or item to the doctor.

If a surgeon or anyone else miscounts medical sponges or other small items, they could leave those items inside a patient after the surgery is over. Staying aware of the variety of ways that distractions can leave you with a serious injury after a doctor’s surgical error is important.