Physicians have been known to double-book surgeries, or perform two operations at the same time, to "maximize efficiency" in the operating room. While it may seem like a way to reduce costs and care for more patients, the risks associated may far outweigh any potential benefits. This blog will go in-depth and detail why surgeons schedule multiple surgeries simultaneously, examine some of the tragic consequences, and explain how a patient can recover damages.
Reasons for Double-Booking Surgeries
The first step in understanding why this dangerous practice persists is to look at the motivations of the surgeons themselves. In many cases, double-booking allows surgeons to see more patients, which can mean more money for them. Additionally, surgeons may face pressure from hospitals to increase their numbers or risk being replaced. With these incentives in place, it is no wonder that surgeons would be willing to take on the additional risk of double-booked surgeries.
Patients are Usually Unaware!
One of the most surprising things for patients is that their surgeon will not be present for the entire operation. Instead, the surgeon will usually only be there for the initial stages of the procedure and then work back and forth between one operating room and another. A team of surgical nurses and technicians is present during most of the surgery when the surgeon is not present.
Risks of Double-Booked Surgeries
While maximizing profits and efficiency may be good for the bottom line, it often comes at the expense of patient safety.
Increased Risk of Infection
Although having a surgeon run two rooms can be seen as a way to increase efficiency, it can also lead to an increased risk of infection. When a surgeon is in two places at once, they are more likely to make errors. This could mean something as simple as forgetting to wash their hands before entering the second room or leaving surgical instruments in the patient. Either way, these mistakes can lead to patients developing infections.
Wrong Patient Mistakes
One of the most serious errors that can occur is when a surgeon performs the wrong procedure. This can happen for various reasons, but one of the most common is when one patient's procedure gets confused with another due to two simultaneous surgeries.
Surgeon is Unfocused
A surgeon's ability to focus is critical to providing safe, effective care. Unfortunately, surgeons are often pulled in multiple directions, running between two or more operating rooms. This can lead to them feeling unfocused, distracted and scattered, which can impact the quality of their work.
Surgeon is Not Present for Complications
Double-booked surgeries can also lead to complications if the surgeon is not present when an emergency arises. If a patient begins to bleed excessively or goes into cardiac arrest, the surgeon may not be immediately available to provide treatment.
Seeking Compensation for Malpractice in the Operation Room
If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice in the operating room, you may be wondering how to recover damages. The first step is to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney. Your attorney will review your case and determine whether you have a valid claim. If so, they will work with you to gather evidence and build a strong case. This may include obtaining medical records, expert testimony, and other forms of evidence.
If the case is successful, you may be awarded compensatory damages for your injuries. These damages can help to cover medical expenses, lost wages, and other costs associated with the malpractice. Additionally, you may be awarded punitive damages if the court finds that the doctor or hospital acted recklessly or negligently. By working with an experienced attorney, you increase your chances of recovering the total amount of damages you are entitled to.
If you were injured as a result of medical malpractice, call us today at (617) 404-3417 or fill out our form online for a free consultation.