A person undergoing surgery or receiving some other form of professional medical care typically assumes that safety measures and protocol will be followed in such a way so as to avoid unnecessary mistakes on the part of medical staff. A recent article gave detailed information on promising new technology that could help prevent surgical errors in Hawaii hospitals and others throughout the nation. The technology was recently tested in clinical trials and was developed by researchers from one of the nation’s most prestigious hospitals.
One type of surgical error from which some patients have reportedly suffered involves spinal surgeries. The recent article suggested that because the various sections of the spine look quite similar to one another, patients are at risk for surgeons operating on the wrong vertebra. The newly developed software apparently achieved 100 percent accuracy in under 3o seconds when used to assist surgeons in identifying the correct spine-levels to be operated on in surgery patients.
A professor of biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins, where the software was developed, stated that surgery performed on the wrong level of a patient’s spine is something that should never occur. The new software, called LevelCheck, is equipped with an advanced graphics processing unit that is often used in high-tech video games. The professor said that a surgeon’s expertise is not to be replaced by the new technology but assisted and supported so as to optimize safety procedures and appropriate patient care.
At its inception, the new software program was awarded as best new spine technology of the year. However, even when the best available technology is used, surgical errors sometimes still occur. Hawaii patients who were injured or made ill through the errors of professional medical staff are entitled to seek redress for the damages they have suffered.
Source: healthnewsdigest.com, “Spinal Surgery: Right on Target“, April 13, 2015