Our Medical Malpractice Attorneys Jeffrey Bloom and Ben Rubinowitz represented the family of Joan Rivers after she died during a routine endoscopy at a Manhattan surgery center. Sadly many other patients have died following complications or surgical errors at this type of center as many States still do not have regulations that may prevent them. For example in most of the country there is no law that prohibits a doctor who was laid off by a hospital for misconduct to open a surgery center.
A recent USA TODAY NETWORK and Kaiser Health News investigation found that a surgery center in Arkansas 3 people died during colonoscopy procedures in 15 weeks and none of them were reported to an oversight authority. Patients coming for procedures were obviously not aware of these deaths either. This must change.
The lack of oversight continues to kill patients at surgery centers
As surgery centers openings are booming around the country and taking on increasingly complex surgeries, it seems outrageous that, in at least 17 States these centers have no mandate to officially report deaths and serious injuries even if they have been set forth in a lawsuit. This lack of oversight has tragic consequences. While Joan Rivers’case was highly covered by media, many other patients and their family had their life destroyed because of surgical errors committed at surgery centers without any publicity . In Missouri, a 33 year old man died during a finger surgery. In Georgia, a 66 year old woman died during an eye surgery and in Oklahoma, a 60 year old man died after a hip replacement surgery. In Colorado, Robbin Smith was awarded $14.9 million after he got paralyzed from the waist down following an epidural injection of steroids.
While the federal government requires hospitals to provide specific data related to surgical complications and mortality rates it doesn’t require the same for surgery centers. This is a dangerous loophole that opens the door to serious medical malpractice and negligence.
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