technology plays an ever-increasing role in the practice of medicine, the risk of error due to technology malfunctions
is on the rise as well. In fact, according to
LiveScience, technology can now be blamed for up to 25 percent of surgery errors—an
alarming statistic, to be sure. We’ve compiled a list of several
of the most common malfunctions of medical technology, along with some
of the possible effects of each.
In many medical monitors and devices, sensors are frequently calibrated
to set off an alarm at the slightest anomaly. This dynamic creates a sense
of “alarm fatigue” in medical personnel and patients alike—not
unlike the “boy who cried wolf.” If a genuine medical crisis
occurs, hospital staff may be slow to respond to the alarm, putting the
patient at risk.
Not all computerized devices are optimized to communicate with other devices,
nor is there a universal protocol for these devices to connect. If a medical
device is improperly configured to work within the facility’s IT
structure, important medical data can get lost in translation, which may
affect the patient’s treatment plan.
Missed Recall Notices
Like so many other products, medical devices are frequently subject to
recalls due to design or coding flaws. Sometimes a simple update can fix
the problem; other times, the device requires attention from a technician.
Amid the flurry of paperwork and notices hospitals receive, recall notices
sometimes get missed. At best, the device may not function optimally;
at worst, it may fail without the proper fix.
If you or a loved one has suffered due to a technology breakdown leading
to medical error, we may be able to help. Call our
Washington D.C. medical malpractice attorneys to learn more.