Surgical teams in Connecticut and throughout the United States may soon find that the so-called “surgical black box,” a device developed at the University of Toronto, could be installed in their operating rooms, tracking their movements and recording any errors. While the purpose of the box is to assist in identifying the factors that lead to poor surgical outcomes, many are already considering the possibility of the boxes being used as evidence in lawsuits based upon surgical mistakes.
A lawmaker in Wisconsin has introduced legislation that would permit patients to have surgeries recorded audiovisually in order to allow them to see what has happened in the operating room. Another bill, named for a victim of hospital negligence, is under consideration in New York. Similar provisions would allow patients to insist that all of their surgeries are visually recorded.
Surgical errors occur with alarming frequency. These errors can lead to injuries that can be catastrophic or even life-threatening in nature. Providing an audiovisual recording of surgeries can serve to hold surgeons and hospitals accountable for preventable medical errors and provide the team with data that can be used to avoid future mistakes and save patient lives. However, doctors and hospitals have already shown resistance to the idea of recording surgeries, claiming that evidence may be taken out of context and used against them in lawsuits.
Victims of surgical errors have the right to pursue compensation for their injuries when they can show that the health care professional failed to exhibit the requisite standard of care. Those who have been harmed in this manner may wish to have the help of an attorney who has experience in medical malpractice litigation.