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There are news stories in Akron and across the country of advances in medicine and surgery. From new drugs to new technology, innovations in medicine are creating a lot of buzz and are making people in Ohio feel safer about going in for surgery. Just because there are new technologies or pieces of equipment for a surgical procedure, however, doesn’t mean that there isn’t room for surgical mistakes. In fact, a recent study has shown that increasingly complex procedures may also increase the risk of surgical errors caused by equipment failures.

Researchers looked at 28 studies on surgical errors and it appears that nearly 25 percent of mistakes in the operating room are caused by technology or equipment errors. Many of these errors are fairly common, too, which calls into question why surgeons and hospitals can’t do more to reduce the risk of a potentially serious mistake.

The study has also given some thought about how to reduce the risk of surgical mistakes caused by technology or equipment problems. Researchers found three separate studies that found preoperative checklists could reduce the error rate by 50 percent. Going through a generic check of the equipment to be used in a procedure could go far to preventing medical malpratice, it seems.

This is a simple procedure that hospitals and surgeons could easily implement. While there may be some cost involved, it would likely be minimal, especially if it could save hospitals from costly medical malpractice lawsuits. And, besides, aren’t patients’ lives and well-being more important than a few dollars?