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Medical software crashes during heart surgery

Hospital administrators in Ohio and around the country were no doubt aghast when they heard that a patient who was undergoing heart surgery was put at serious risk after a computer software crashed. This software reportedly monitored tubes that were essential to the surgery and showed the doctor data as the surgery was being performed.

It appeared that the software underwent an anti-virus scan right in the middle of the surgery, causing the program to crash. This meant that the surgical staff could not access the data they needed. The doctors reportedly had to reboot the computer, costing time. The patient did not suffer any harm, thankfully. The FDA stated that the incident was caused by human error. It appeared that the program was not configured to avoid scanning patient data files and medical images when surgeries were taking place.

While human error can cause surgical errors and other harm, there have been instances where essential software has failed. For example, a California hospital found that its computer system had been hacked. After initially demanding more than $3 million, the hackers eventually settled on returning the system back to normal for $17,000. A District of Columbia hospital also had to revert to using paper systems when hackers took their computer system offline.

Hospital negligence can encompass many forms in addition to a doctor's error. The failure to properly maintain surgical equipment or to clean up a spill before a patient slips on it could be malpractice in some cases as well, and those who have been harmed in these types of ways may want to have the help of a lawyer when seeking compensation from the facility.

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