Preventing Medical Errors in Anaesthesia - Preventing Medical Errors in Anaesthesia: Anaesthetists aim to prevent medical error in operating room

Preventing Medical Errors in Anaesthesia

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Summary

Medical errors unfortunately cannot always be prevented. According to NHS England, the operating theatre has been identified as the most common place for adverse surgical incidents.1 We aim to break the silence on this topic. Therefore, we have gathered research that not only looks at the data and consequences of these errors, but also at possible causes and relevant solutions – with the aim of providing an extensive overview of the topic and kickstarting further discussions.

Why do medical errors occur?

Some reports seem to suggest that it is mainly the physicians themselves who are solely responsible for errors. But research over the last several years has brought up a wealth of data showing that culpability often lies in the work environment. In anaesthetics this includes suboptimal organisation of the workplace and the highly complex tasks anaesthetists must cope with. Other important factors are the number of distractions, such as alarm fatigue and the suboptimal design of medical devices.

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Human error in anaesthesia: whose fault is it anyway?

This extensive overview of the topic identifies insights for deeper discussion and suggests the establishment of an open error culture, showing how the right technology can contribute to improvement.

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Human error II folder title
Human error in anaesthesia: whose fault is it anyway?

This whitepaper addressing relevant issues regarding human error in anaesthesia has two main aims: One, we want to provide anaesthetists with an extensive overview of the topic, and two, to offer information that could be used as background material for further discussions in hospitals on why it would be important to take a closer look at this matter and how to potentially improve the situation.

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How we are helping anaesthetists reduce medical errors?

As Your Specialist in Acute Care, we’re committed to supporting anaesthetists worldwide. We are aware of the need for systems and functionalities that enable anaesthetists to protect their patients and provide the best possible care in a complex and restrictive environment. To that end, we offer a wide range of features that help free up cognitive capacities and reduce the incidence of human error by displaying meaningful information and providing smart visualisations for quick and profound clinical decision making.

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Human error in anaesthesia can lead to critical perioperative incidents. Our infographic summarises some interesting figures for you.

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hospital staff during a surgery with Polaris 600 surgical lights

Sophisticated organ transplant

Every operation and its associated anaesthesia practice carries risks and potential for errors. But this is particularly evident in the case of organ transplant. Such surgeries are highly complex, usually take many hours and employ two teams in two different operating theatres. Stabilisation of the donor body is very important, which makes managing patient anaesthesia precisely a major task. The operating rooms are full of equipment, the organs must be prepared and then transported. But most important: the quality of life of two people must be maintained.

It's vital to have advanced OR setups and technologies that support the whole operation team with advanced features, safety functions and decision support that helps to reduce the risk of human error. The Dräger anaesthesia workstation Perseus A500 in combination with SmartPilot View is very efficient for use in these types of operations.

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Sources

1 https://www.england.nhs.uk/2019/01/surgical-safety-checklist/