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Lubbock County Medical Malpractice Attorney
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Stress can be a factor for surgeons

No matter what a procedure may entail, it's important that surgeons do not become complacent in the operating room. Unfortunately for Texas patients, any mistake can be potentially lethal. A new study from Columbia University shows that stress can make a surgeon more likely to commit such an error.

Despite the best quality education, training and experience, it is to be expected that surgeons are impacted by stress. However, the Ivy League study found that it was not stress caused by performing the specific surgical tasks that was the problem. Instead, it was stress created by relatively minor occurrences in the operating room that caused doctors to make mistakes. Things such as a machine alarm sounding, a side conversation or a person entering or exiting the operating room caused notable mistakes to be made.

The study was conducted by having a surgeon wear a "smart shirt" during his various procedures, most of which were gastric bypasses. The high-tech shirt monitored the doctor's heart to determine when stress may be having an effect. According to another researcher who also documented the doctor's subsequent mistakes, errors went up by 66 percent when stress was a factor.

All procedures come with a certain level of risk, and there are no guarantees of a certain outcome. Every patient who has signed informed consent paperwork should be aware of potential hazards. However, every patient should also be afforded a certain standard level of care. When a doctor breaches that standard, they may be guilty of medical malpractice. A medical malpractice lawyer can offer counsel to a victim on these matters.

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