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Thursday, June 10, 2010

Study Shows Infection Control Lacking in Surgery Centers

A study prompted by a hepatitis C outbreak in Las Vegas, and appearing in the Journal of the American Medical Association. shows that same-day surgery centers across the country have problems with keeping infection rates down. The centers where pain injections and minor operations are performed are plagued by simple cleanliness issues that are not being followed. As a result, people are getting sick.

The findings show that failure to wear gloves, wash hands, and clean blood glucose meters were some of the reported surgery center problems. The lead author of the study, a doctor from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said the findings are "surprising and somewhat disappointing."

In the study, state inspectors visited 68 centers in Maryland, North Carolina, and Oklahoma. Some of them had not been inspected in over ten years. Inspections were not announced ahead of time, but staff was told about the inspectors once they arrived.

The inspectors followed at least one patient through their entire stay. Although the staff knew the inspectors were there, and should have been doing everything they could to make a good impression, 67 percent of the centers had at least one breach of infection control and over half of them were cited for deficiencies.

Same-day, or outpatient, surgery centers are a growing part of the health care system. Over six million procedures are performed annually, and they collect over $3 billion from Medicare.

The study used a new audit tool to inspect centers that use Medicare. So far over 60 percent of centers audited have been cited for deficiencies.

If you or a loved one has been seriously injured or sickened at a same-day surgery center, please contact the experienced medical malpractice attorneys at the Cochran Firm for an initial case evaluation. We serve clients nationwide.

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posted by Benjamin A. Irwin at 7:44 AM

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