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Patients in Iowa may be interested to learn that there is a link between a higher chance of post-operative complications and surgeons whose bad behavior has been reported by co-workers. This is according to a study in which reports regarding the unprofessional behavior of 202 surgeons, as relayed by their coworkers, were examined.

The researchers focused on reports from two academic medical facilities that took part in the National Surgical Quality Improvement Program. Other factors that were examined included the medical and surgical complications that occurred no more than 30 days after the operation for 13,653 patients. The unprofessional behaviors that were reported pertained to polite and clear communication, worries regarding unsafe or inadequate care, an absence of truthfulness and not fulfilling professional responsibilities.

The results of the study showed that 11.6 percent of the patients had a complication. The patients who were operated on by surgeons whose co-workers reported bad behavior on the part of the surgeons had a higher likelihood of enduring complication than the patients with surgeons whose co-workers had no such accounts.

Researchers also found that more complications tended to arise in cases in which there were more reports. For surgeons who had up to three reports of unprofessional conduct, their patients had an 18 percent higher chance of suffering from complications. For surgeons with at least four reports, their patients’ risk was nearly 32 percent higher than that for the patients of surgeons for whom there were no reports.

An attorney who practices medical malpractice law may litigate to obtain financial damages for clients who have sustained injuries, such as a worsened condition or permanent disability, due to surgical errors. The attorney might conduct independent investigations, review medical records and interview surgical staff to verify the negligence of the surgeon and medical facility.