Do you think a surgeon would tell you if there was an error during surgery?

Doctors are held to high standards of practice because they hold peoples' lives in their hands. This can make patients feel helpless because of the risk of their doctor making a mistake during treatment. As such, they are also held to high ethical standards. National guidelines recommend that physicians make a full disclosure to a patient and the patient's family. But, a new survey published in JAMA Surgery, found that not all surgeons follow that guideline.

The study found that only 55 percent of the doctors surveyed apologized or discussed whether or not the error was preventable. Luckily, the vast majority disclosed the mistake, why the error occurred and took steps to treat additional problems, however, they did not necessarily discuss if the error was preventable.

There are eight recommended disclosure practices, according to Jama. They include:

  • Within 24 hours of the operation, disclosing that there had been an error.
  • Conveying regret for the error
  • Advising the patient or their family as to why the error did occur.
  • Following up with the patient and showing their concern for the patient's welfare.

No one wants to think about their doctor committing an error during their surgery; that happens to other patients with other doctors. But it does happen, frequently. If you suffered an injury because a physician was negligent in the operating room then you may want to speak to an attorney, you could have an actionable claim. If your injury was sufficiently serious, you might even require additional surgery to correct it. You shouldn't have to pay for those expenses; an attorney can help retrieve the compensation that you deserve.

Source: CBS News, "Would a surgeon tell you if something went wrong during your operation?" Mary Brophy Marcus, July 20, 2016

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