Any carpenter will tell you to measure twice, cut once.  The same concept holds true for the medical community.  Any patient will tell you that they’d rather have a doctor ask a question twice, than to cut the wrong thing once.  Whether you are going into Sentara Norfolk General in Norfolk, Virginia (VA) for a major surgery or just  having a minor out-patient procedure, the safety ideas in a recent  study could save your life.  

The new study by the Veterans Health Administration has a common sense approach to decreasing medical mistakes that can kill or injure patients, reports the American Medical Association.  Deaths at 74 Veterans Health Administration hospitals that followed the “Medical Team Training” program–which was modeled after error-reduction plans used in the aviation industry and NASA–fell 18 percent over a two year period.

The “Medical Team Training” made everyone in the operating room a member of a team instead of just subordinates to the surgeon.  I, like most people, think that putting the patient’s well-being first should be doctors’ first priority.  However, some doctors might  put patients at risk, rather than be proved wrong by a nurse or anyone they feel knows less than they do.  The study also consisted of a detailed surgery check list to keep medical mistakes from occurring in the first place.

Surgery is supposed to improve our health – and every day thousands of Americans put their lives in the hands of their surgeons to fix their ailments, conditions, and chronic health problems. However, not all operations are successful, and a significant number of surgeries actually harm the patient. In some cases, surgical errors lead to permanent injury, chronic pain, or even death.