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Governor Patrick signs new law to combat medical malpractice

A recent post on this blog discussed a study which revealed that there is a much higher instance of surgical errors in hospitals across the country than was once thought. Massachusetts Governor Patrick has just signed into law a measure that may successfully combat the prevalence of surgical errors across the state of Massachusetts.

The law targets surgical technologists, whose job is to assist surgeons by preparing the rooms where surgery is to be performed. These professionals ensure that all the surgical instruments are properly sterilized prior to surgery, and hand the surgeons the tools they need during a surgical procedure. Pursuant to the enactment of this legislation, all surgical technologists will now have to receive certain educational credentials and must be accepted by the guidelines promulgated by the National Board of Surgical Technology and Surgical Assisting.

Prior to this legislation, these health care providers were the only ones allowed to be present in surgery without any specific license or certificate. It is thought that this new law will greatly increase the safety of patients and curb instances of medical malpractice by ensuring that inexperienced or improperly trained individuals stay out of the operating room.

If an individual is the victim of medical malpractice, swift action is required in order to obtain the best possible outcome. There are strict statutory time limitations to filing a claim when an individual suspects that medical malpractice has occurred. Victims of medical malpractice may be entitled to seek compensation, including monetary damages for pain and suffering, reimbursement of medical bills, compensation for future medical bills, reimbursement of lost wages and compensation for loss of future income. Depending on the situation, there are other damages that may be available as well.

Source: SentinelandEnterprise.com, "New Law May Improve Safety During Surgeries," Michael Hartwell, Jan. 2, 2013

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