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Canadian doctor creates 'black box' for surgeries

Whether we choose to think about it or not, all too often mistakes are made by surgeons and other medical personnel in the operating room in the course of a medical procedure.  While in some cases measures may be taken to keep those mistakes from seriously injuring those being operated upon, other times patients suffer serious injuries or even die. After such an incident occurs, it can be difficult to know just what went wrong. This is problematic both for those injured as well as the medical providers. 

A Canadian doctor who is a professor of surgery at the University of Toronto has created what is being referred to as a “black box” to document operations. Specifically, it synchronizes the following:

  • The patient’s physical data
  • Audio recording of the procedure
  • Video recording of the operation

The idea behind the system, which is being tested in two hospital systems in the United States, is that the information it provides will make it possible to improve performance during surgery. The creator of the system likens it to the tape reviewing that athletes do to try to improve their performance.

Hopefully this system will improve the performance of surgeons and nurses during surgeries and become more widely used. In the meantime, when negligence is involved, following one of these incidents, an injured patient, or when the patient dies, his or her family, may file a medical malpractice lawsuit. While this course of action cannot undo the harm that is done as a result of negligence, it might make life easier for those affected by the damage.

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