Patients who are having surgery might assume that they are going to the hospital for the procedure. This may not be the case. Many surgeons are turning to ambulatory surgery centers to do certain surgeries. The issue is whether these outpatient centers are safe for patients. In some cases, they aren’t.
There are many reasons why your health care provider might want to do a procedure in one of these centers. They are often seen as more convenient and usually less expensive. The cost is one of the reasons insurance companies might approve procedures in a same-day surgery center. Since there isn’t an overnight stay in the hospital, that cost is eliminated.
Ambulatory surgery centers don’t have the same equipment or specialized staff as hospitals. This could mean that if a patient has a life-threatening issue during the surgery or after, the staff has to rely on an ambulance to transport the person to the hospital.
In many cases, the center does have an agreement with a local hospital. However, the time that it takes for the ambulance to show up and for them to get to the hospital could have negative impacts on the person’s health. It might even lead to a fatality that could have been prevented if the incident happened in a hospital.
Patients who have surgery at an outpatient center face the risk of being sent home quickly. From 2013 through 2017, more than 260 patients died from routine procedures. Some complications might not show up right away during these surgeries. Even though most patients return to their surgeon within a few days after the procedure, there is still a chance something will happen during that period. For example, the patient might develop an infection or may begin to have a reaction to something used in the surgery.
Surgeons must carefully screen patients if they are considering an outpatient surgery center instead of a hospital. Any health issues, including obesity, that could cause problems during the procedure should be considered contraindicative of having it at the center. Advanced age, obstructive lung disease, history of stroke or heart attack, and having a prolonged procedure or reaction during a prior surgery, are some examples of what might point to someone not being a good candidate.
A patient who suffers harm due to an issue at a same-day surgery center has specific rights. Seeking compensation through a medical malpractice lawsuit is one option they have.