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Imaging technology may help surgical errors

Most people in Washington State have heard reports about mistakes made during operations that have resulted in severe harm or even death to patients. The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality indicates that these types of errors can often be classified into one of three categories.

One type of surgical error involves a procedure being conducted on the wrong patient. A second type of surgical error involves the correct patient but the wrong operation being conducted. In the third type of surgical mistake, both the procedure and the patient may be correct, but the location of the operation is incorrect such as a surgery on the left knee instead of the right knee.

Each of these types of mistakes may be prevented by different things and some are calling for the use of special imaging to aid in more effective surgeries and fewer errors. Becker's Hospital Review explains that today, there are commonly multiple screens around an operating room with a variety of scans and images on them. Surgeons and others on the operating team must turn their eyes and their attention away from the patient in order to capture and synthesize the data on them.

Another issue is that these scans are always taken from the perspective of the device that captured them versus from the perspective of the surgeon looking at the patient. As such, the use of augmented reality is proposed as one way of improving outcomes during surgeries. This would find surgeons wearing devices with screens in front of their eyes that would show them the necessary information without diverting attention from patients.

 

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