There are some horrendous surgical mistakes that have been made, from removal of healthy limbs to death. Things that should never have happened somehow did, destroying the lives of not only the victims but also all of the hospital people involved. There is a system of checks and balances in place, wherey everyone involved is supposed to be checking name, chart, etc, to ascertain right patient-right organ-right surgery-right medicine-right time-right date and more. So how do these awful mistakes happen then?
Usually when a mistake is made it is because everyone involved somehow made a mistake at a critical point. Sometimes the patient actually compounds the mistake by answering in the affirmative to someone else's name or being afraid to speak up when the doctor verbalizes what is about to occurrence – and it's wrong. Sometimes the patient has a horrible feeling that they should not allow the surgery to go on but they are afraid to say anything, fearing they will be labeled as hysterical.
The way to avoid becoming the victim of a surgical mishap is to be very proactive in your own care. One could even go so far as labeling the correct area for the surgery, such as "cut here". It also helps to have a friend or family member present to double-check the proceedings. If a leg is to be removed and the nurse washes the opposite leg and coats it in betadine, someone had better start screaming "THAT'S THE WRONG LEG!" Everyone gets distracted and we are all busy busy nowdays, with too many things going on at once. No one intends to cause harm but it sure can happen fast.
The other part of being careful has to do with the mind. Researchers have found that telling someone "do not" does not work because the subconscious mind hears "do". The explanation is that negatives such as "no" and "not" are the equivalent of numerical zero … they do not really exist. You can test this out easily by telling someone "do not forget …" and watch them forget. Try the opposite of "please remember to …." and see how much better they remember. So in the example above, the leg to be removed would have the label "Remove this leg" and the good leg would have "Wrong leg-it's the other one" or "bad leg" and "good leg". The next step would be to show each person involved, from the order, nurse and clerk to the surgeon and anesthesiologist, while saying "this is the leg to be removed" (and avoid saying 'and not this one'). Make sure if you use a marker that it is a special surgical marking pen (non-toxic ink).
Further consideration may be prudent in the area of astrology and numerology. Whether you believe in them or not, the simple facts are that having important things done on days that are good for the individual usually results in success. In numerology, those with certain lifepath numbers do best on days that add up to one of their good numbers sets: 1-5-7, 2–4-8, 3-6-9. One would also want the numbers of day / month / year to be in that set. For example a number 8 lifepath would do best on a day that added to 8, such as 2-24-00 or 4-20-02. A 'good' day would be something that added up to 8 but may have numbers from another set, such as 4-20-11. In the case of astrology one would want to be sure that the signs lined up for success on the day and in the hour the surgery is scheduled to start.
It's fair to wonder why a physician would pay attention to such things as numerology, astrology, feng shui and other of the energy arts. Some of us have just seen enough proof of some kind of influence there, beyond our belief systems, to realize that it does not hurt anything to pay attention. After all, we are dealing with the life, livelihood, and happiness of another person. We are entrusted with their health and bear some degree of responsibility, depending on how much is being done. It just makes sense for all involved to do everything in their power to make sure that whatever is done turns out successfully. The patient and their family or friends is just as responsible, if not more so … your Life, your responsibility .
© 2010 Dr.Valerie Olmsted All Rights Reserved