how everything you know about surgical protocol may change

No matter what profession, the reality is that wholesale change is seldom welcomed with open arms. Indeed, most workers will prove reluctant to alter routines or procedures that they have not only mastered, but which have consistently produced favorable results.

This is especially true in the medical profession, where surgeons and anesthesiologists adhere to time-tested protocol that they know from experience will produce the best results for the patient.

While this is understandable to a degree, it’s nevertheless important for these medical professionals to be willing to embrace — or at least consider — how changing the way they do things in the operating room may actually help the patient more.

By way of illustration, consider that there is now a push by the American College of Surgeons for more surgical teams to adopt what is known as “enhanced recovery” protocol.

In the majority of cases, anyone undergoing surgery can expect to see the following: fasting prior to their procedure, a significant dose of IV fluids, extensive bed rest and a regimen of painkillers to help deal with post-op pain.

However, under the enhanced recovery protocol, which has been utilized in Europe for well over a decade, anyone undergoing surgery can expect to see the following: fasting prior to the procedure plus the consumption of a clear liquid drink fortified with various nutrients, lower levels of IV fluids, pre-administration of non-narcotic painkillers, instructions to get out of bed and eat solid foods as soon as soon as possible, and earlier discharge.

We’ll continue to explore this topic in our next post, discussing why so many medical experts are touting the enhanced recovery protocol and whether it will become the new reality.

Remember to consider speaking with an experienced legal professional if a surgical error has caused you or your family unimaginable harm.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, “Patients bounce back faster from surgery with hospitals’ new protocol,” Laura Landro, March 31, 2015

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