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Tis the season for medical malpractice

Many New Jersey residents are apprehensive when it comes to having surgery; however, research indicates that there may be better times than others when it comes to getting procedures done. Some studies indicate a spike in medical malpractice during certain times of the year.

Are there better times than others in which to be hospitalized? Researchers at Johns Hopkins appear to think so. After conducting a study of over 3,000 surgeries performed in July, they concluded that there were more complications and a higher mortality rate than any other time of the year. They chalked it up to the fact that all recently graduated medical students begin their internships on July 1; therefore, the newest surgeons are performing the July surgeries. Conversely, other studies debunk this, claiming that having surgeries in July is no riskier than any other month.

However, research shows that both the time of the year and the time of the day matter as far as hospital care is concerned. For example, those who end up being treated in emergency rooms on public holidays are 48 percent more likely to die within a week. Time of day plays an important role as those procedures done late in the afternoon carry a higher risk of error or misdiagnosis as opposed to those done first thing in the morning. Those having Friday afternoon surgeries are of greater risk too. Doctors perform more C-sections during Friday afternoon deliveries, perhaps as a way to get things done before the weekend.

New Jersey residents need to receive excellent medical care, and time of day or year should not matter. Those who feel they may be victims of medical malpractice could benefit by consulting with an experienced personal injury attorney, who may help them understand their rights.

Source: The Atlantic, "The Worst Time to Have Surgery", James Hamblin, June 19, 2013

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