Distractions can be detrimental to any persons work but distractions young surgeons may experience can be detrimental to the health of patients. A recent study on eighteen young surgeons found that noises, questions, and other disruptions that may occur in the operating room have the potential to cause inexperienced surgeons to make very serious mistakes.
In this study, researchers found that during a simulated operation 44 percent of surgeons between the ages of 27 and 35 made a serious mistake when they were distracted.
Researcher used distractions such as a cell phone ringing, a falling tray, or asking them about problems developing with another patient during critical moments during the surgery. The most common cause of the mistakes was questions were about the condition another patient.
Conversations about other topics, such as politics, were the next cause of mistakes during surgery. When the simulation was conducted in the afternoon the distractions had a greater impact. These distractions led to serious or potentially fatal mistakes.
This research study concluded that distracted young surgeons can be dangerous while operating. Experience and old age however do not automatically safeguard surgeons from distractions. Everyone can make mistakes when distracted, especially when they are overworked or tired.
When the study was presented it did not come as a surprise to experienced surgeons that younger surgeons were susceptible to distractions. It is something that they must work through and become better at with experience.
Given the findings of this study it may be likely that younger surgeons are more likely to face a medical malpractice lawsuit. However, this knowledge can be used to make surgeons aware that distractions do occur and to be prepared for them. Hospitals, surgeons, and staff can also work to prevent distractions in the operating room, decreasing the likelihood that mistakes will occur. The fewer the mistakes the lower the likelihood that medical malpractice lawsuits will be brought against young surgeons.
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