Medical Malpractice at Same-Day Surgery Centers in New Jersey
If you need a routine medical procedure in New Jersey, you may turn to a same-day surgery center as the most convenient option. The benefit of a these surgical centers is clear: you can undergo the surgery you need in a single day, avoiding a hospital stay and the bustling hospital environment that inevitably spells longer wait times and administrative hoops to jump through. However, New Jersey’s same-day surgery centers may be less safe than you assume. In this article, our experienced medical malpractice attorneys discuss the risks associated with same-day surgical centers in New Jersey.
A same-day surgery center is an independently operated medical facility. These surgical centers are not affiliated with hospitals and are not as equipped to handle many of the complications that hospitals often address. There are currently 298 same-day surgical centers in New Jersey, only half of which are subject to oversight by the NJ Department of Health and are required to submit data to the Patient Safety Reporting System.
Same-Day Surgical Centers & Medical Negligence
In New Jersey, there were 52 reported fatalities and over 1,200 adverse events, some of which include catastrophic injuries and coma, since safety reporting for surgical centers was initiated in 2008. These numbers are likely under-representative of the actual number of complications and injuries, as 159 centers were not required to report because they only had one operating room. Surgical centers with only one operating room have also been exempt from the State licensing process, instead obtaining licensing from the board that oversees physicians.
With limited medical equipment and lack of oversight, the number of patients who are injured or die during routine surgeries at same-day surgical centers in New Jersey is not surprising. Some of the potential ways in which medical malpractice may occur at a surgical center include:
- Lack of equipment and medical supplies necessary to deal with emergencies, including cardiac arrest and breathing difficulties
- Failure to identify complications after surgery and other forms of post-operative negligence
- Failure to transport a critical patient to the emergency room or fully-equipped hospital in a timely manner
- Hiring doctors and medical staff lacking necessary experience
Recognizing this serious problem, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed a bill in January that will significantly increase regulation in the surgery center industry across the state. First and foremost, all same-day surgery centers will be subject to the same licensing requirements, regardless of size. The 150 surgical centers without licenses must obtain them by January of next year to remain in compliance with state law. Additionally, officials from the New Jersey Department of Health will be regularly inspecting these facilities and providing their findings to the public online.
New Jersey Medical Malpractice Attorneys at Fronzuto Law Group Advocate for Victims of Negligence at Same-Day Surgery Centers
By undergoing a surgery or medical procedure at a same-day surgery center, you are entrusting your health and safety to the doctors and medical staff at the facility. If they fail to respond to complications during or after surgery, this may constitute medical malpractice. If you suffered injuries at a surgical center in New Jersey, contact the skilled NJ medical malpractice lawyers at Fronzuto Law Group to find out about your rights. We investigate the circumstances of your unique case to identify any and all forms of medical negligence that may provide grounds for a lawsuit. We aggressively advocate for clients throughout New Jersey, including in Bergen County, Hudson County, Passaic County, Essex County, Morris County, and Monmouth County. Call 973-435-4551 or contact us online for a free consultation.