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Are Surgery Centers Causing Preventable Patient Deaths?

Surgeons operating

Has a doctor ever recommended that you go to a surgery center to handle a simple surgery? These centers often seem like the way to go, providing convenient service and cost savings, but are these centers the best place for you to get medical care? Recent reports are leveling serious claims against these surgery centers, and some of these incidents are even making their way to court.

Are Preventable Patient Deaths at Surgery Centers Going Unreported?

News organizations USA Today and Kaiser Health News teamed up to conduct a deep investigation of surgical centers all across the country. And what their investigation uncovered is both alarming and frightening. Thousands of calls are being made to 911 by surgery centers that suddenly find themselves in too deep. Patients suffering from complications are having to be rushed to nearby hospitals as their conditions become too serious for these centers to handle.

In one such case, a 58-year-old mother of three entered a Northern California surgery center to undergo spinal surgery. The procedure seemingly went off without a hitch, so the woman’s doctors left for the day, and that’s when trouble allegedly began. The woman began to bleed internally and was soon unable to breathe. This was a well-known complication of the procedure she underwent, but no one on duty knew how to handle it. The woman was eventually transported to a nearby hospital emergency room, but by the time she received treatment, it was too late.

The family of the woman would later go on to file a lawsuit against the woman’s doctors and the surgical center for not providing adequate care. The center denies any wrongdoing, and due to lax reporting regulations, this incident didn’t even show up on a Medicare report of incidents at surgical centers. This case was only a local instance out of several that were exposed by Kaiser Health News and USA Today.

Experts interviewed by the report expressed concerns as government regulations continue to clear the way for riskier surgeries to be performed at these centers. This is because these centers can provide these procedures at a lower cost point than many hospitals. However, there are no regulations in place to carefully monitor when things go wrong at these medical facilities. That means that the victims of inadequate healthcare at these centers must pursue justice through the civil court system. Otherwise, these surgical centers face little to no penalties for preventable injuries and deaths.

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