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Wrongful Death

Is July a High-Risk Month for Medical Negligence?

When Austin residents consider the topic of medical care, most people think about renewing their health or trusting a health care provider to give sound advice. But not all trips to the hospital leave patients with a positive outcome. Unfortunately, time and time again, cases of medical negligence lead to physical injuries or even the death of a loved one. Although most hospitals strive to be negligence-free year round, some people believe there are times during the year where medical error is more prevalent.

What is the July Effect?

A recent news article points to something called the “July effect.” There has been some research to suggest that July is a guarantee of poor care at teaching hospitals because that is the month when new medical residents arrive. But a recent study of more than 500,000 patients admitted to teaching hospitals for spinal surgery suggests that the “July effect” may be exaggerated.

The results showed that of all the patients studied, those admitted in July fared as well as those admitted to teaching hospitals in other months. The criteria set for the study was based on in-hospital mortality rates and negative reactions to implanted devices. Although these statistics are promising, there was a slightly higher rate of discharge to long-term care facilities for July admissions, as well as a somewhat higher change of postoperative infection.

Researchers say the outcome should reassure patients that there is nothing to fear in July. Though this may be the case, medical errors leading to personal injury or death happen every day throughout the country, leaving victims with medical bills, funeral costs and the loss of loved ones. Those victimized by negligent behavior at the hands of medical professionals have certain rights to seek compensation to cover costs stemming from their injuries or loss.

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