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National Time Out Day encourages careful thought before surgery

We all know that surgical errors are a major cause of medical malpractice cases in Illinois and throughout the country. Wrong-site surgeries, leaving surgical tools behind and operating on the wrong patient have led to catastrophic injuries that individuals and families have had to find a way to cope with -- many through a medical malpractice lawsuit. As we continue to learn more about what causes these harmful errors, some may be interested to know that medical professionals across the country are starting to place emphasis on keep patients safe.

June 10 marks the eleventh National Time Out Day. The day focuses on encouraging doctors and others to take a time out before an operation to make sure everyone is on the same page and to confirm important details of the procedure, including who the patient is and what operation he or she is undergoing.

The perioperative registered nurses who created National Time Out Day said they realized the pain and suffering that medical errors caused patients and their loved ones. To them it is an acknowledgement of their dedication to providing the best care possible to their patients.

Efforts made by the medical community to reduce errors that harm patients are always welcome. As awareness of the dangers of medical errors continues to grow, hopefully we will see a decline in occurrences.

Unfortunately, growing awareness does not mean everyone is safe. If you or your loved one was harmed by a doctor or hospital's mistake, it is important to speak with a lawyer so you can understand your options for pursuing compensation.

Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch, "National Time Out Day raises awareness about preventing surgical errors," Laura Gayton, May 24, 2015

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