The Risks of Double-Booked Surgery

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double booked surgery injuries in NJ

The aforementioned investigation surveyed numerous hospitals nationwide, revealing double-booked surgeries as a common practice among surgeons. Importantly, this occurs so frequently that the American College of Surgeons released new guidelines, which instruct surgeons to inform their patients when they anticipate planning to manage another overlapping surgery. Further, the ACS emphasized that concurrent surgeries are completely inappropriate and should not occur. Unfortunately, these new guidelines are not legally binding and therefore, patients may still not know what’s going on after having been put under anesthesia.

Experts nationwide say surgeons commonly supervise overlapping procedures, especially in teaching hospitals, where an assisting surgeon in the midst of fellowship training will be directed to sewing up a patient at the conclusion of surgery when the lead surgeon moves to another procedure. The ACS guidelines distinguish between these overlapping procedures and concurrent surgeries, where critical parts of two procedures the surgeon is managing overlap. The ACS has emphasized that the latter should not occur.

For example, critical components of heart bypass surgery would include sewing arteries together, while the final sutures of the procedure may not be considered as critical. The ACS guidelines indicate that the surgeon maintains the responsibility to determine what is and is not a critical component of a procedure. However, some experts believe that surgeons have too much discretion in determining what’s critical, which potentially leaves patients exposed to harm during an operation. And they emphasize that if a procedure may overlap, doctors should inform patients in advance of surgery, to allow patients to consider that situation while deciding if that surgeon should perform their procedure.

If you or someone you love has suffered harm resulting from possible negligence of a surgeon, mistakes by a hospital, or malpractice in a medical facility, contact our New Jersey medical malpractice lawyers to receive a cost-free consultation and learn more about your available legal options. You can reach us anytime by filling out our convenient online form or calling our local offices at 973-435-4551.

For additional information about double-booked surgeries in the United States, access the following article: Is Your Surgery Double-Booked?

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