The center failed to properly sterilize its equipment, among other failures.
When you go to the hospital or to a surgical center for a procedure, you expect that everything will be relatively straightforward — and safe. After all, in the United States, there are a number of regulatory bodies that govern medical facilities, the doctors and other medical professionals who perform these procedures. Yet despite all of the rules and regulations in place, there are a surprising number of lapses in safety protocols in hospitals and surgical centers — as demonstrated by a recent event at a New Jersey surgical center.
According to news reports, the HealthPlus Surgical Center in Saddle Brook, New Jersey may have exposed as many as 3,700 patients to blood-borne illnesses such as HIV, hepatitis B and hepatitis C. The New Jersey Department of Health discovered the issue after it inspected the facility and found “lapses in infection control” and sterilization. The affected patients were treated between January 1, 2018 and September 7, 2018.
According to the New Jersey Department of Health, the staff at HealthPlus were not following proper sterilization procedures for the medical equipment used at the center. In addition, the staff failed to comply with regulations regarding the dispensing and storage of medication and infection control planning and procedures. There have not been any reports of illnesses to date, but the center was closed on September 7, and reopened on September 28 after new staff was hired, and other measures were taken to sterilize all medical equipment. Anyone potentially impacted by the lack of proper infection control procedures should be tested for blood-borne illnesses.
As a skilled personal injury attorney can explain, this type of failure at a surgical center happens more often than most people would suspect. In these cases, anyone who is injured as a result of the negligence of the staff or surgical center may be entitled to file a lawsuit. In the legal system, negligence is the failure of a person to use reasonable care to avoid causing an injury or loss to another person.
To prove a negligence claim, an experienced personal injury attorney will need to prove four elements: duty, breach, causation and damages. A duty is a legal obligation owed by an individual or organization requiring that they use reasonable care while performing any acts that could potentially harm others. Here, a surgical center owes a duty to patients to use reasonable care to not cause harm while performing surgery. A breach is a violation of a duty. In this case, the surgical center breached its duty by failing to properly sterilize its instruments. Causation is the link between the breach and the injury. In the surgical center case, if a person developed a blood-borne illness, causation would be established if a personal injury attorney could prove that the illness was a result of the lack of sterilization. Finally, damages are the harm that was caused. A personal injury attorney has to demonstrate that actual harm was caused, such as medical bills or pain and suffering.
If you have been injured through the negligence of another person, you may be entitled to file a claim. Working with a seasoned personal injury attorney can help you get the compensation that you deserve for your losses. Contact PLBSH today at (800) 435-7542 or email@example.com to schedule a consultation and learn more about how we can help you.