Inspections of New Jersey Same-Day Surgery Centers Reveal Violations

By Blume Forte Fried Zerres & Molinari on April 5, 2011

The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services inspected 40 unlicensed surgical centers at random between August 2009 and February 2011. According to an NJ.com article, several violations discovered by inspectors have raised concern about patient safety and the quality of care provided to them. Health advocates and some officials are joining forces to have New Jersey require routine inspections of all same-day surgery centers.

There are at least 300 same-day surgery centers in New Jersey. However, not all of these surgery centers are licensed or regularly inspected for potential health risks and violations. In New Jersey, surgery centers that only have one operating room are not required to have a license. New Jersey requires surgery centers with two or more operating rooms to have a license and receive inspections approximately every three years.

Same-day surgery centers often appeal to patients who are seeking speedy, convenient service for elective surgery. With new data suggesting a concerning presence of violations, some patients may think twice about going to one of these facilities. Inspectors conducting the same-day surgery center sweep determined that 17 unlicensed centers presented an “immediate jeopardy” to patient health and safety, temporarily shutting down seven until specific problems are fixed. The state also examined 51 licensed surgery centers and determined that 8 presented “immediate jeopardy”, closing two of them for the time being.

Some of the most common problems detected by inspectors included improperly sterilized equipment, and, discharging patients before a doctor’s examination. Other problems included failing to fix unsanitary conditions, splitting single-dose drugs between numerous patients, giving patients expired mediation, and prefilling unlabeled syringes.

Medical professionals, such as doctors, anesthesiologists and nurses, are responsible for providing a high standard of care to patients. Unfortunately, mistakes during surgery, medication errors, sleep deprivation, miscommunication, and unsterile equipment can increase the possibility of serious illness, injury, and even death.

At Blume Forte, our New Jersey surgical negligence attorneys have decades of experience obtaining successful case results for various types of medical malpractice, including informed consent violations, anesthesia accidents, surgical mishaps, birth injuries, and other acts of negligence on the part of a hospital or medical professional. For a no-cost consultation of your potential claim, call 973-635-5400.

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