Most Americans associate High Definition (HD) technology with enhanced television quality. But according to Technorati.com, HD technology is making a major contribution to health care safety by helping doctors reduce the number of surgical mistakes made in operating rooms. HD is now being used to improve surgical accuracy and precision, speeding up patient recovery and avoiding painful and potentially life threatening errors.
HD devices are increasingly used to make gallbladder and appendix removal, joint and sinus surgeries and even hysterectomies more minimally invasive, an advance that greatly reduces patient pain and trauma. The crisp, high-resolution image capabilities built into HD tools significantly improves surgical site inspection, reducing miscalculation and enabling surgeons to pinpoint and correct problems laparoscopically. The increased precision allowed by HD cameras, scopes and monitors has cut patient recovery time in half.
Benefits of HD Technology for Gallbladder and Appendix Surgeries
The popularity of HD technology with gallbladder and appendix surgeries is for good reason. Common complications of gallbladder and appendix surgery include:
• Perforation of the stomach
• Perforation of the intestine
• Damage to the bile duct
• Rupture of the gallbladder itself
Gallbladder surgical errors can result in dangerous and potentially life threatening infections. According to the National Institutes of Health, gallbladder rupture is fairly common, occurring in roughly 20 percent of all gallbladder surgeries. Also known as cholecystectomy, gallbladder surgeries are performed on over a million Americans annually.
New Technology Also Helps Avoid Medical Imaging Errors
HD technology is also being applied to medical imaging, which has relied on X-Ray technology for more than a century. Failure to read mammogram X-Rays properly has often results in a delayed diagnosis that is potentially fatal for women with breast cancer. By using HD technology, visually enhanced images obtained through high definition CT and PET scans allow doctors spot medical issues more quickly and diagnose medical issues more decisively, an advance that is enhancing breast and prostate cancer survival.
An experimental HD capsule designed to be swallowed by a patient was recently the subject of research testing in Japan and Norway. Outfitted with a tiny camera, the experimental device uses image compression technology to transmit up to 30 live images per second to HD monitors, giving doctors a real-time view inside a patient’s body.
Emphasis on Reducing Surgical Errors is Paying Off at the VA
Efforts taken to reduce surgical errors at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) hospitals have yielded significant improvement, according to Medpagetoday.com. A recent study showed a reduction in surgical errors from 3.21 per month in 2006 to 2.4 per month in 2009 – an annual decrease of 14 percent.
Nonetheless, if you or a loved one has been injured due to a surgical error, contact an experienced New York City medical malpractice attorney to discuss your case and determine a course of action.