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Are surgical errors happening due to distractions in the OR?

When going in for surgery, patients in Connecticut or elsewhere want to believe their physician is prepared and focused -- regardless of how simple or routine the procedure is supposed to be. The operating room can be a busy place, filled with people and equipment -- all of which may distract from the task at hand. Some are even questioning whether these distractions are the cause of surgical errors.

The digitizing of medical records and the ease of access to information over the Internet have made mobile electronic devices invaluable in the medical field. These devices are now found in operating rooms on a regular basis. While cell phones and tablets can keep surgical staff connected to the outside world, how they are being used is currently under debate.

In the past few years, there have been several reported cases of surgical errors occurring due to the use of cell phones in the operating room. Instead of using these devices for work-related purposes, surgical staff have been accused of sending texts, accessing social media sites and browsing the Internet. This negligent behavior places patients at risk of serious injury or even death.

Those in Connecticut who have been negatively affected by surgical errors have every right to question what took place behind closed operating room doors. If negligent behavior is suspected, medical malpractice claims may be filed against all those believed responsible for the damages sustained. For cases that are successfully handled, monetary relief may be granted either through jury trial or by coming to agreeable terms outside of court.

Source: bendbulletin.com, "Is your surgeon focused on you or his smartphone? Texting and surfing can distract from patient care", Markian Hawryluk, Feb. 1, 2015

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