Learning from Medical Mistakes

Surgical Safety Technologies Operating Room Black Box

Being rolled into an operating room is scary enough, but even more so when you consider that of the 300 million surgeries performed worldwide each year, up to 50 million will involve complications and up to 3 million will result in death. Enter the OR Black Box, developed by Toronto-­based surgeon Teodor Grantcharov. Just as an airplane’s black box records data throughout a flight to keep track of anything that goes wrong and improve overall safety, the OR version records audio, video, patient vital signs, feedback from electronic surgical instruments and more. Hospitals can then analyze the data or use it as a teaching tool. The Black Box has been in operation in Europe since 2017 and will roll out in the U.S. next year. In a surgical theater that still relies on paper checklists, the Black Box is a huge step forward. —Jeffrey Kluger

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