AANS Neurosurgeon | Volume 28, Number 2, 2019

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Under Pressure: The Surgeon’s Conundrum in Decision Making

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Small Study Based on Subjective Interviews Explores Decision-Making Process in Life-and-Death Emergencies

In a small study based on conversations with 20 hospital-based surgeons, Johns Hopkins researchers say they found that most report feeling pressure to operate under severe emergency situations, even when they believe the patients would not benefit.

Results of the study highlight the multiple factors and complexity that underlie decision-making, quality care and patient outcomes in life-and-death emergency situations, the researchers say.

“Conversations and decisions about surgical interventions and their risks are never easy, but they’re even more difficult in emergency situations, and our study was designed to better understand — in a qualitative way — surgeons’ thought processes during these times,” says Fabian Johnston, M.D., M.H.S., assistant professor of surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Few tools, he says, are available or demonstrated to be effective in objectively measuring these kinds of decisions.

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Calendar/Courses

NeuroSafe 2019 Symposium
Aug. 8-9, 2019; Minneapolis

SNSA Congress 2019
Aug. 8-11, 2019; Cape Town, South Africa

2019 Managing Coding and Reimbursement Challenges
Aug. 22-24, 2019; Rosemont, Ill.

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