Complications Will Arise - Prepare for Them

dr ferhan ahmed Jul 13, 2021

So just how normal is human error?

In fact, research suggests that regardless of the activity or task being conducted, humans make between 3-6 errors per hour.

Even a relatively small error can trigger a very serious incident.

The average person will make 773,618 decisions over a lifetime and will come to regret 143,262 of them. A typical adult makes 27 judgments a day usually starting with whether to turn off the alarm or hit snooze.

As clinicians, we can’t avoid complications. They are part of our profession, and once you are faced with one, you have to know how to respond.

Forming the proper response always starts in your mind. In the same way that you can bolster your confidence, you can condition yourself to respond - not react - to complications.

Most people’s initial response to them is to dwell on the results or on the on-going dilemma. While it’s vital that you examine your actions, your focus should be on the possible solutions you can apply.

Just recently, I was mentoring a colleague in full arch implants and I misplaced an implant into the maxillary sinus. This is a complication that can happen, but it was the first time it happened to me. Poor planning and overconfidence resulted in this complication.

My response was to stay calm and manage the situation. I accessed the maxillary sinus through a lateral window and removed the implant. We continued with the rest of the surgery and the outcome was successful.

The complication could have caused me to feel bad about my overconfidence, but I set it aside in favour of finding a solution. There was time for self-reflection later. At that moment, what mattered was that I solved the problem.

Problem-solving skills, however, aren’t developed overnight. Just like any skill, you hone them with continual practice until they become a natural part of you.

The goal is for you to reach a point wherein you don’t even think about what direction to take. Your mindset automatically moves you towards finding solutions.”

Dr Ferhan Ahmed