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Surgeons Performing Overlapping Surgeries Can Cause Patients to Suffer Serious Complications and Death

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When you schedule a surgery, you expect your surgeon to perform your entire surgery. However, you may be shocked to learn that this may not be the case. A recent investigative report by the Boston Globe discovered that prominent surgeons at Massachusetts General Hospital are being scheduled for more than one surgery at a time—sometimes involving complicated procedures. Called concurrent surgeries, they work as follows:

  • The surgeon performs two often complicated surgeries at once by moving from room to room.
  • The surgeon focuses on the challenging tasks that require his specialized skills.
  • Other work is left to be performed by a less-experienced general surgeon, who could assist only briefly, and to other surgeons in training.

Other prestigious hospitals also permit overlapping surgeries, although some medical facilities ban the practice. Hospitals permitting this justify it as an efficient way to utilize the talents of their most skilled specialists while reducing wasted time in operating rooms. However, double-booking surgeons can lead to problems, and lawsuits have been filed claiming medical malpractice.

Potential Problems With Overlapping Surgeries

Massachusetts General Hospital’s practice of concurrent surgeries has been controversial with doctors, anesthesiologists, and other staff at the hospital raising concerns about it. It may have resulted in the paralysis of one patient and the death of two elderly patients who suffered complications. Problems that have occurred with this practice include:

  • Patients have suffered complications from their surgeries that may have otherwise been avoided—sometimes resulting in their deaths.
  • Experienced doctors were in another surgery room when an urgent need arose.
  • Surgeons failed to show up for surgery, and less-experienced residents or fellows were left to perform the surgery.
  • Patients have been left under anesthesia for prolonged periods of time while waiting for the surgeon to arrive or return.
  • Operating staff were confused as to which doctor was performing the surgery.
  • Patients were not informed about the concurrent surgeries or that their doctor would not be performing their entire surgeries.

If you suffered complications from your surgery, it could have been caused by your surgeon being scheduled for overlapping surgeries. You need to contact an experienced medical malpractice attorney as soon as possible to not miss the deadline to sue. Call me at 888.716.8021 to schedule a FREE consultation to learn about your legal options.

Category: Medical Malpractice


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