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Surgical centers: Not as safe as you may believe

Surgical centers are becoming more common across the United States. These are centers not located inside a hospital but instead on their own. The centers are prepared to work with patients' needs, but they're not there for traumatic emergencies.

At surgical centers, doctors often leave at the end of their shifts. Often, night workers include nurses and aides who can call for help when needed but who otherwise can handle sleeping, recovering patients. If a patient suddenly has complications, those complications can become life-threatening quickly.

Surgery centers began around 50 years ago as a way to reduce costs for minor surgeries. However, serious complications can still arise from minor surgeries, so it's not always without risk.

In fact, these centers have to call 911 to reach emergency care thousands of times every year, something that would never happen in a hospital setting. No authority tracks the outcome of complications in these surgical centers, but the likelihood is that many are tragic. The delays in treatment are devastating to patients struggling to survive.

A problem with these surgical centers is that they've begun to take on more difficult surgeries. The risks are higher, but the rewards are, too. Doctors may earn more, but those earnings could come at the cost of a patient's life.

It's important that you consider your options carefully before having an outpatient surgery at a surgical center. There are outpatient facilities at hospitals, but at least these are within a few seconds of emergency help if it's needed. If you're hurt in a surgical center, know that you can still pursue a medical claim.

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