Imagine going to have surgery done but having to call 911 because of complications after the procedure was finished.
Why would you have to do that?
Unfortunately, that is what happens thousands of times across the United States each year as more and more people are opting to have surgeries at surgical centers instead of at hospitals.
Let’s be clear – there should never be a time when a patient has surgery and the medical staff does not know how to handle post-operation consequences. When that happens, it is pure negligence and possibly medical malpractice.
If you need a Norristown surgical center malpractice attorney, you can count on The Weitz Firm to be by your side, working to get you the compensation you deserve.
There are now more than 5,600 surgical centers in the United States, facilities opened and approved by federal regulators to perform procedures in an effort to cut overall healthcare costs.
These centers are NOT fully equipped hospitals and many focus on outpatient surgeries, though many offer overnight stays for some procedures.
Why are they more dangerous?
Well, for starters, they usually do not have the staff or equipment to handle major medical emergencies, which can happen in ANY surgery, minor or major. These centers have been accused of skimping on expensive equipment and ignoring major risk factors that would usually mean a patient needs to be operated on in a regular hospital.
Basically, most of these places are profit-driven to the detriment of patient care.
In fact, federal law allows surgical center doctors to influence patients to come to facilities they own rather than full-service hospitals. They can do this even though doing so could increase the risk to the patients. Doctors, in essence, will ignore risks in order to make more money for themselves.
Most surgical centers are required to partner with local hospitals so patients can be admitted when an emergency arises, but that means waiting for an ambulance to get there.
A patient at a hospital would not have to go anywhere in an emergency, but at surgical centers, they often have to be transported across town.
We will leave the final word to a Medicare study on these facilities when they said they, “have neither patient safety standards consistent with those in place for hospitals, nor are they required to have the trained staff and equipment needed to provide the breadth of intensity of care.”
Regardless of whether or not surgery is performed in a hospital or at a surgical center in or around Norristown, there are various errors that should never occur. In fact, in the realm of medicine and surgery, there is something called “never events.” They are called as such because these are incidents that should never occur during surgery:
In addition to never events that can occur during surgery, there are various other types of mistakes that can occur that lead to either short- or long-term consequences for patients. This can include damage to nerves, arteries, veins, or even other internal organs while surgery is ongoing. Additionally, it is imperative for a surgeon and the medical team to properly monitor a patient in the immediate aftermath of surgery to ensure that there are no complications.
In to prove medical malpractice occurred at a surgical center, various elements of negligence need to be present:
It is crucial for individuals to understand that they have a limited amount of time to file medical malpractice lawsuits. In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the medical malpractice statute of limitations is two years from the date of the alleged malpractice.
However, this medical malpractice statute of limitations “clock” will not begin ticking until the injury victim actually knows or should reasonably have known that they suffered an injury or illness caused by a medical mistake. Often, individuals do not realize right away that they have been harmed due to a mistake made by a medical professional.
It is important to point out that no medical malpractice lawsuit can be filed more than seven years after the date the alleged medical error occurred, regardless of when the malpractice victim discovers or should have discovered that a mistake was made. The only exception to this overall seven-year statute of repose is cases where a foreign object was left behind in a patient.
Any time you think that the negligence of a healthcare professional has harmed you or a loved one, you should seek legal assistance. Medical malpractice cases are complex and it is very difficult to prove and win a case on your own.
At The Weitz Firm, we specialize in these cases because we believe that medical professionals should be held responsible for their mistakes. We want to help you recover compensation for your medical expenses, lost income if you have to miss work, and pain and suffering damages.