Are doctors risking patients safety

As much as people would like to wholly trust their doctors, medical errors do occur more often than is comfortable. The numbers indicate that these errors may account for thousands of deaths each year. While we know that doctors’ work proves difficult, are there preventable distractions putting patients’ safety at risk?

According to lead researcher Martin Makary, a professor of surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, medical errors are rampant in the US. Makary’s data shows the number at 2—3 times higher than previously thought, a whopping 250,000 a year.

In addition, the FDA attests that errors related to medication cost at least 1 life every day and injure over 1 million annually. Regardless of the numbers, doctors and hospitals should put patient safety at the top of their list. In cases of potential risk, they should err on the side of caution every time.


Distracted Surgery

Doctors have a human side, meaning that they will make a mistake at some point. However, patients and concerned loved ones find it alarming when a doctor pulls out his phone during surgery, of all places. Could the distraction of cellular devices be causing many such medical errors?

In Dr. Christopher Spillers’s case, the correlation is likely. His patient, Roseanne Milne, came in for a routine heart procedure but never made it through the surgery.

According to investigations, the doctor used his cell phone to text, call, and surf the Internet over 50 times! Spillers also took a photo of an anesthesia monitor during another occasion and posted it on Facebook.

While the doctor saw no harm in his actions, Milne’s daughter did. According to her, “It was absolutely the worst day of my life. I was devastated. I couldn’t believe I was losing my mother that night.”