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Operating room cameras to reduce preventable deaths

There is no denying the fact that there is risk associated with every surgical procedure. Even those that are minor can result in serious injury or death if a mistake is made.

While most people trust their medical team to do what is right, patients have no way of truly knowing what goes on after they are knocked out and the procedure begins.

When a person dies during an operation, it often leads to a variety of questions. The family wonders what happened, and more importantly, if it could have been prevented.

Every year, approximately 400,000 people die in the United States of preventable medical errors. Believe it or not, this makes it the third leading cause of death, only behind heart disease and cancer.

When a family does not get answers regarding what happened, they begin to wonder if things would be different if cameras were installed in operating rooms. This would provide a simple way to record the movements and actions of surgeons and other medical professionals.

A growing number of people are beginning to back this movement, hoping that hospitals and surgery rooms introduce video and audio capabilities in the years to come. One professor of surgery said, "If we don't know what we're doing wrong, we'll never improve. This is what many other ­high-performance industries have been using for decades."

Some states are closer than others to making this a law. Wisconsin, for example, has introduced a bill that would require cameras in operating rooms.

While some medical deaths are preventable, a lack of information makes it a challenge for the industry to make the necessary changes. Cameras in operating rooms could be the first step in the right direction.

Source: The Washington Post, "Could cameras in operating rooms reduce preventable medical deaths?," Tom Jackman, Aug. 25, 2015

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