Prochaska, Howell & Prochaska LLC

Surgical "Black Box" Legislation Intends to Help Monitor Medical Errors

Audiovisual Recordings Could Uncover Instances of Medical Malpractice During Surgery


Wichita, KS -- (ReleaseWire) -- 10/09/2015 --Wisconsin, Rep. Christine Sinicki (D-Milwaukee) has recently introduced legislation that would allow medical procedures to be audiovisually recorded with a surgical "black box." If this bill is passed, it would give patients the right to have their surgeries videotaped (Milwaukee-Wisconsin Journal Sentinel). This technology is designed to help surgeons analyze their own performance, as well as provide evidence in the instance of medical malpractice.

"Medical malpractice during surgical procedures negatively affects countless of families every year," says Bradley J. Prochaska, medical malpractice attorney of Prochaska, Howell & Prochaska LLC. "In order to protect injured victims of these tragedies, there needs to be complete transparency in all instances of medical malpractice."

About The Black Box
The surgical tracking "black box" was created by Dr. Teodor Grantcharov of the University of Toronto. Similar to the same devices employed by airplanes in case of a crash, Grantcharov's box records and collects data that would help determine why mistakes were made during a surgery. It uses microphones and cameras to record every detail of the surgery, the movements of the surgeon, and the interactions and communication of the entire surgical staff. To date, the surgical "black box" has been used for 40 laparoscopic weight-loss procedures. Several hospitals in the United States have shown interest in using the device during surgeries (

Sinicki's proposed legislation would name the law after Julie Ayer Ribenzer who lost her life during breast implant surgery due to anesthesia complications. It shares similarities with a proposed bill in New York called "Raina's Law." Raina Ferraro also died during surgery because of the negligence of the anesthesiologist. Raina's Law proposes that cameras should be allowed in operating rooms. If the bills are passed in Wisconsin and New York, it could set a nationwide precedent for recording surgeries to better protect patients from medical malpractice.

"The full disclosure of medical errors ultimately benefits both the medical industry and patients," says Prochaska. "With widespread instances of medical malpractice, there is public concern that the medical industry is not fully disclosing errors during surgery. Transparency allows patients to reclaim their lives after terrible injuries, while holding physicians more accountable and enforcing the medical industry's code of ethics."