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Are Concurrent Surgeries Dangerous?

Published on Feb 28, 2018 at 6:42 pm in Medical Malpractice.

Knowing that you need surgery can be a scary concept. Surgery requires drugs, sharp tools, and time for recovery. You may find comfort in talking to your surgeon and discussing what’s going to happen, but what if you learned they would be performing other surgeries simultaneously?

You’d probably be surprised that this happens and would rather have a surgeon focused solely on your surgery because something could go wrong during the procedure with the surgeon out of the room, or they could mix up information between the two patients. This could result in further injury. If this has happened to you or a loved one, you can file a medical malpractice claim. An Atlanta medical malpractice lawyer from Bey & Associates can help you get the compensation you need.

What Are Concurrent Surgeries and Why Are They Done?

Concurrent surgeries are when a surgeon oversees two operations at the same time. The operations are the same, so the surgeon isn’t switching between a hip surgery and a knee surgery. A recent study from Canada found that concurrent surgeries are putting patients at risk, so why has it been a regular practice?

Some medical professionals are for it because it’s efficient, patients don’t have to wait as long for certain surgeons, and the surgical residents get independence. The main pros of concurrent surgeries are saving time and money, but this isn’t necessarily true.

What Are the Dangers of Concurrent Surgeries?

The Canadian study looked at 90,000 hip operations at about 75 hospitals. Their data showed patients with longer overlap between surgeries were more likely to face health complications that year. Most of the complications were infections and follow-up surgery. Patients who are in concurrent surgeries tend to have longer procedures and are under anesthesia for more time.

While studies that say concurrent surgeries are successful and safe, they usually only extend a few weeks after the surgery for follow-up. This study extended the follow-up to a year after the surgery.

During a concurrent hip replacement surgery, patients had the following risks:

  • Raised undergoing surgery complication rate from 80 to 90 percent.
  • Raised broken hip complications 7 percent every 10 minutes the concurrent surgeries overlapped.

On average, operations would overlap from a half hour to an hour. Some went for three hours. Some medical experts say that surgeries should not overlap more than a short amount of time, and it should be as one is ending and the other is beginning. Anything more than that is putting the patients at risk.

The people who wrote the study say that because concurrent surgeries have risks, surgeons need to inform their patient if their surgery will be overlapped before the patient gives their consent.

Some surgeons have said that they were wrongfully terminated in the past for opposing concurrent surgeries or bringing information of its dangers to light. Studies like this one can help back up their beliefs and claims and could possibly be used to help prove that they didn’t deserve to lose their jobs.