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Engineering and medical students hope to reduce surgical errors

A fatality rate of less than 1 percent for any surgical procedure sounds very low. However, when thousands of surgeries are conducted in Illinois and throughout the country every day, even a small percentage of surgical errors represents an unfortunate number of deaths. Medical students and engineers at a university in another state hope that their recent collaboration will result in even lower fatality rates for a certain procedure.

The midurethral sling surgery is considered to be a high-risk procedure. The bladder may be impaled in approximately 5-10 percent of the surgeries. Fatalities occur in less than 1 percent of the procedures when there are bowel or blood vessel injuries. The students are hoping to obtain better images of the cause of the injuries through the use of 3D models and motion sensors.

Students at the University of Missouri, Kansas City, are collecting data in simulation surgeries that will lead to better understanding of the procedure. Those involved can actually review specific motions used in the surgery and determine which actions may lead to injury or death. Corrections can then be made to potentially reduce errors in the operating room.

Unfortunately, even with a reduction in the fatality rate for a procedure, some complications may still arise. Surgical errors may lead to injury or even death. Victims and their families may choose to file a personal injury or wrongful death lawsuit. A successful outcome in a lawsuit can provide victims or survivors with compensation to help defray hospital costs or funeral expenses. An Illinois personal injury attorney will work with families to achieve the best possible outcome in the litigation process.

Source: kshb.com, "UMKC students working to reduce surgical error", McKenzie Nelson, Sept. 7, 2017

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