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Distractions Spreading from the Car to the Operating Room
The next time you get in your car, consider that approximately 660,000 drivers are using their cell phones while driving at any given moment, according to the American Automobile Association (AAA). The result is that distracted driving contributed to almost 10 percent of all car accident deaths last year.
Cell phone distraction is showing no signs of slowing down, either. Accidents involving trains and boats are linked to distracted operators. Last year, a commercial airplane missed its destination by over 100 miles because the pilots were using their laptop computers while flying the plane. And now, “distracted doctoring” is making its way into the American lexicon.
A doctor in Colorado was talking on his cell phone while operating on a patient. The distraction took his mind off the surgery and left the patient partially paralyzed. The patient’s personal injury attorney uncovered evidence that the surgeon made at least 10 personal phone calls on his wireless headset throughout the operation.
There are other reports of a nurse checking airfares on her cell phone during surgery and technicians operating bypass machines texting during a procedure. Medical schools and hospitals have recently acknowledged the distracted doctoring epidemic and how to prevent it in the future.
Have you suffered an injury due to a distracted health care worker?
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