Technology is considered to be the driving force behind a lot of innovation in healthcare. While the use of technology by doctors is definitely an encouraging sign, should you be worried if the surgeon whom we all trust, relies on YouTube videos to perform surgery?
Yes, you heard that right! Recently, news surfaced that a South Carolina doctor is being sued for allegedly using YouTube to try and perform a complicated medical procedure that resulted in the patient’s unfortunate death. The lawsuit alleges that the patient presented in the Emergency Room with a complaint of sore throat and was prescribed Penicillin by the doctor. The lawsuit further claims that the patient suffered an anaphylactic reaction to Penicillin and the doctor in question did not recognize, diagnose and treat the patient’s condition in time. Further, the doctor failed to timely transfer the patient to a facility where he could be properly treated and tried using guidance from a YouTube video on “how to perform a cricothyrotomy procedure” rather than seeking assistance from medical professionals! (Read more ) The patient’s unfortunate death has created a furore in the medical community and opened the age-old debate about competency of treating doctors.
Sadly, this isn’t an isolated case of Surgery gone bad because of lack of competence. On the other hand, we have the patients who are diagnosed with complex diseases. They not only feel lost in the complex healthcare system, but also are inadequately informed about how to treat their conditions. So how does the patient decide which is the right treatment option and is he or she making the correct treatment choice?
Choosing the right treatment is the patient’s right. Our SurgeryXchange Experts recommend that in order to make an informed decision, the patient should ask the following questions:
- Have they been correctly diagnosed? Always ask for a second opinion. Patients are encouraged to share the test results and studies with experts and determine if the diagnosis is indeed correct.
- Is the treatment prescribed indeed appropriate? Are there any treatment alternatives? What are the gold standards of disease management?
- What are the outcomes of the treatment prescribed? What are the chances of complications? Are there any short-term or long-term implications that you should know?
Probing on these lines ensures that patients understand their medical condition better, make an informed decision and exercise more control over their health outcomes.
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