Could cameras in the OR make surgery safer?

Many people in Missouri have heard stories of surgeries gone wrong. From objects being left inside patients to operations on the wrong body part, these surgical errors make it hard not to feel a little nervous about the thought of undergoing an operation.

Those who feel concerned about the possibility of surgical errors may be interested to hear about a new idea being proposed by a lawmaker in Wisconsin. Her idea is to have surgeries recorded -- or at least to allow patients to decide if they want their surgery recorded.

The hope is that audio and video recordings of surgery will give the surgeon, the patient and his or her family members a way to look back at the surgery and determine what went wrong if it is clear that something did. The lawmaker's proposed legislation would also allow people to include a request for recorded surgeries in their advance directives.

Of course, having a video tape of the surgery will help victims of medical error beyond just knowing what went wrong. They could end up with clear video evidence of a surgical mistake, which would very likely bolster a medical malpractice claim against the operating physician and the hospital.

As other states consider making recorded surgeries an option for patients, we are curious: What do you think about this idea? If you were scheduled for surgery, would you elect to have it recorded?

Source: The National Law Review, "Are Recorded Surgeries the Future of Medical Malpractice Investigation and Medical Error Prevention?" Michael C. Ksiazek, July 29, 2015



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