Most people have heard of the “black boxes” found on airplanes. These boxes are tools that are used in the event of a crash that allow investigators to study what happened onboard that led to the accident. Now, researchers have created the same type of black box for use in operating rooms to determine when surgeons make mistakes or are negligent. The hope is that information from these black boxes will help medical professionals take the appropriate steps to prevent errors in the future.
Black Box Creation for Use in Operating Rooms
Researchers at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto have created a “black box” that may soon revolutionize the way errors in operating rooms are studied. The researchers decided to create the black box for operating rooms after noticing that preventable accidents on airplanes were reduced considerably after black boxes were installed onboard. They hope to bring that same improvement in safety to operating rooms.
The black box created by the team of researchers is approximately the size of a large book or a box of tissues. It can record everything that occurs within an operating room, including conversations between the healthcare professionals present for the surgery and even the temperature of the room.
There are two goals for the black boxes:
• One is to identify when mistakes are made in operating rooms and reduce instances of medical malpractice.
• The second is to help surgeons learn how to prevent these errors and pass that information on to their students during teaching sessions.
Currently, the black box is only intended to be used in surgeries that are considered minimally invasive.
At this time, the information it collects would not be available or discoverable as part of the investigation of or in the pursuit of a medical malpractice claim.
Benefits of Using the Black Box
Although the black boxes are not widely in use yet, there are many potential benefits to using them. These include:
● Increasing patient confidence: Having this tool in place allows greater transparency for patients who are undergoing operations.
● Identifying potential distractions: There is a lot that happens in an operating room. There are machines that make noises, many healthcare professionals all performing different tasks, and myriad other distractions. A black box in an operating room can identify whether distractions are causing medical errors, so they can be removed and allow doctors and other healthcare staff to focus on the task at hand.
● Preventing medical errors: When errors can be identified and traced to the cause, they can be prevented. This is one of the main uses of black boxes in operating rooms.
Need Legal Help? Contact a Medical Malpractice Attorney Today
A medical error in the operating room can cause a lifetime of problems for the patient involved. If you have been a victim of surgical negligence, contact our medical malpractice attorneys today.
At Baker & Gilchrist, we know how to hold surgeons and other healthcare staff accountable when their negligence results in harm to patients. Contact us online to schedule your free case consultation so we can review your claim and explain your legal rights.