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Could Cameras In The Operating Room Help Fight Malpractice?

The instant replay has been helping sports stars improve their game for years. So, why can't doctors use the same technology to help physicians make fewer mistakes in the operating room (OR)? A study out of Toronto University seeks to answer that question, and its findings could make the OR a much safer place to visit.

You've heard the stories of routine medical procedures going wrong. People go under the knife for a basic procedure, and then they never wake up again. It happened to Joan Rivers, and it happened to a woman in Florida who was undergoing routine cosmetic surgery. In both incidents, nobody is truly sure about what went wrong, and both families have been left without answers. That's why Teodor Grantcharov-professor of surgery at the University of Toronto-has come up with a device to help monitor surgical suites.

Grantcharov has dubbed the device as a black box for the OR. It records audio and video during a procedure, which can allow doctors to look back at what they've done like a quarterback watches film reels to figure out how another team runs its plays. The professor claims that viewing surgeries on video afterward can even point out mistakes that nobody on a surgical team noticed.

When Will Operating Rooms Get Black Boxes?

For now, the device is being tested in Canada, but two US hospital systems have also lined up to test the recorders, but there are still obstacles in the path of this technical revolution. Some critics are concerned that filming surgeries could violate the privacy of patients, and doctors who would feel like they were unable to say what they need to out of concern for a later reprimand. At the same time, the American Medical Association has adopted a policy of filming procedures for educational and training purposes, and in Wisconsin, a law is making its way through the legislature that would require every hospital in that state to have a camera system in operating rooms.

Do you think cameras in the OR goes too far? Do you think that these cameras could help prevent future malpractice? Could video answer the lingering questions of the families who have lost loved ones in a surgical catastrophe? Keep up with our blog to find these answers.

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