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What are the dangers of outpatient surgery centers?

On Behalf of | Jan 11, 2024 | Surgical Error

Outpatient surgery centers, often known as ambulatory surgery centers, have become a popular alternative to hospitals for various surgical procedures. These centers are designed for surgeries that don’t require an overnight hospital stay. Choosing an ASC over a hospital setting presents unique risks and considerations that patients should be aware of before undergoing surgery.

The primary appeal of outpatient surgery centers lies in their efficiency and lower costs. These centers specialize in a limited range of procedures, which can lead to quicker surgery times and reduced infection rates compared to hospitals. However, there are some concerning features of these centers that should be understood by those who utilize them.

Limited emergency resources

Hospitals have a wide range of medical specialists and advanced life-saving equipment available. By contrast, ASCs may not have immediate access to such resources. This limitation can be critical if a patient experiences unexpected complications during surgery. The time taken to transfer a patient to a hospital can be crucial because delays can increase the risk of adverse outcomes.

Anesthesia risks

Administering anesthesia in any setting is risky, but these risks can be heightened in an outpatient setting. ASCs may not have the same monitoring equipment or staff expertise as hospitals. Anesthesia complications, although rare, require immediate intervention. The limited availability of specialized staff in ASCs can make managing these complications more challenging.

Postoperative care and support

Following surgery, hospitals provide comprehensive post-operative care, including overnight monitoring. In outpatient settings, patients are typically discharged on the same day. While this can be seen as an advantage, it also means that patients must manage their recovery at home. Complications like bleeding, infection or pain might not receive immediate medical attention, potentially leading to worse outcomes.

Patients who don’t fare well during or after a surgery at an outpatient surgery center need to get immediate care for their issues. If medical malpractice or negligence had a role in the issue, the victim may choose to seek compensation for the financial damages they’ve incurred. Seeking legal guidance can help to smooth this stressful process.