What are my legal rights if I am injured due to a surgical mistake?
Same day surgery centers are advertised as safe places for routine, stress free operations. For some New Jersey patients, however, so-called routine procedures at same day surgery centers turned into anything but routine. Several families have lost their loved ones due to surgical errors, leading many to question the safety of these standalone same day surgical centers. Our New York medical malpractice lawyers provide a look at some alarming incidences occurring at same day surgical centers and discuss your rights as a victim of surgical malpractice.
Same Day Surgical Centers Are Flourishing in New Jersey
In New Jersey, there are currently 298 freestanding surgical centers, far more than exists in neighboring New York or Pennsylvania. New Jersey was long considered an easy place to open a stand alone surgical center, until the state ultimately passed a moratorium on new centers. Surgical centers are popular with doctors and patients alike. They often offer easier scheduling then the hospital and they promise lower costs as well as fewer risks. However, these centers are also not subject to the same regulations as a hospital, leaving patients vulnerable.
Records on same day surgical center safety are incomplete at best. Public records requests by The Record and NorthJersey.com revealed that at least 52 people died between 2008 and 2017 at same day surgical centers. An additional 1,200 incidents occurred at these centers, which includes serious preventable injuries, comas, and much more. It is believed these figures vastly underreport the true rate of accidents and deaths because only half of the existing surgical centers are required to report their data.
The main danger presented by same day surgical centers is a lack of safety net should something go critically wrong. Unlike in the hospital, where there are dozens of specialized physicians and equipment to diagnose any ailment, same day surgical centers have limited staff and operating equipment. Lawsuits filed by the family members of those injured or killed at surgical centers reveal an alarming lack of supplies to deal with patients who suffer breathing complications during surgery. Further, doctors, who are often owners of the center, are not vetted in the same way a hospital would.
It is important to note that medical malpractice can happen anywhere, including in hospitals. If you believe you have suffered a preventable injury during surgery at a surgical center or elsewhere, contact a medical malpractice attorney right away. You may have a viable cause of action against the physician, facility, or another negligent party.