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Staffing shortages can lead to poor surgical outcomes

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2024 | Surgical Error

It doesn’t much matter if the actual surgical procedure on a patient goes well when the aftercare is insufficient or outright terrible. 

Unfortunately, staffing shortages are affecting almost every aspect of health care these days, and that includes the rehab facilities patients often enter for post-surgical care. 

You only have to look at the case of former congresswoman Eddie Bernice Johnson. She died as a result of a post-surgical infection that her family says was directly related to negligent care that an administrator at the Baylor Scott and White Institute for Rehabilitation attributed to a staffing shortage. Her family is now pursuing a lawsuit for malpractice.

When facilities are short-staffed, patients suffer

Facilities know their staffing levels, but they continue to accept post-surgical patients even when they know they cannot care for them all. This leads to problems with:

  • Monitoring and observations of patients to identify signs of early complications
  • Slow intervention times when issues like respiratory distress or hemorrhages occur
  • Delays in medication, which can let patients’ pain spiral out of control 
  • Minimal (or no) support for mobility challenges, which can increase the chances of a fall
  • Poor infection control, especially when patients and beddings are not kept clean
  • Communication breakdowns that can lead to lapses in coordinated care
  • Worker burnout, which can leave caregivers fatigued and prone to mistakes 

If your loved one suffered injuries or died as a result of post-surgical complications related to poor medical care, you have every right to seek compensation for your losses. That may be the only way to hold negligent medical facilities and professionals accountable for what they have done.