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Video Games Reduces Surgical Errors – A Study

by Medindia Content Team on May 25, 2006 at 11:15 AM
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Video Games Reduces Surgical Errors – A Study

A new study suggests that people preparing for surgery needs to play surgical errors. Dr. James 'Butch Rosser said, surgeons who warmed up by playing video games like 'Super Monkey Ball' for 20 minutes immediately prior to performing surgical drills were faster and made fewer errors than those who did not.

The research involved 303 surgeons participating in a medical training course that included video games and was focused on laparoscopic surgical procedures -- which use a tiny video camera and long, slender instruments inserted through small incisions. The study was conducted by Beth Israel Medical Center in New York City in conjunction with the National Institute on Media and the Family.

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Doctors were measured on their performance of the 'cobra rope' drill, where researchers found that surgeons who played video games immediately before the drill completed it an average of 11 seconds faster than those who did not. Thus indicating faster finishers made fewer mistakes.

This findings correlates with a small study conducted by Rosser in 2003, which showed that doctors who grew up playing video games tended to be more efficient and less error-prone in laparoscopic training drills. Both studies suggested that playing video games sharpened eye-hand coordination, reaction time and visual skills.
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A surgeon aged 51 years, who has been playing video games since the now-primitive looking 'Pong' tennis game was the rage in the 1970s,has developed the Top Gun Laparoscopic Surgery Skill and Suturing Program used in the study.

Rosser has collected data from 5,000 doctors who have used the training program since its 1991 debut.

Thus his main goal is to pull down on medical errors that are estimated to cause to 100,000 deaths every year in the United States by giving surgeons training tools akin to flight simulators used by pilots.

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