Maryland Medical Malpractice : Complications from Procedures Performed in Doctors’ Offices May Be Underreported

Many Maryland medical malpractice lawsuits stem from cases of medical error, surgical error, or medical negligence that occur in a hospital or ambulatory surgery setting.

But now a news report suggests that complications resulting from medical procedures performed in doctors’ offices may in fact occur more frequently than is reported. An estimated 83,000 procedures are performed in U.S. doctor’s offices every year. A news report out of Boston states that “the number of complications that occur secondary to these procedures is unknown.”

The report states that in a recent study, 886 patients who underwent procedures to treat their basal or squamous cell cancers were asked if they experienced any type of problem. Twenty-seven percent of patients surveyed reported they did have a problem during or after the treatment, with 14 percent reporting medical problems such as bleeding, infection, pain, swelling, poor wound healing, or allergic reactions to the bandage or antibiotics. However complications were noted by doctors in only 3 percent of the patients’ charts.

In hospitals, it is mandatory that complications such as infections that occur as a result of medical procedures be documented. However such strict reporting of complications does not occur when medical procedures are performed in doctors’ offices.

According to the Federation of State Medical Boards, Maryland is among the states that do not have specific office-based surgery guidelines among their statutes, regulations, and policies.

The Maryland Board of Physicians lists “cosmetic medical procedures” (performed by both physicians and non-physicians) under its Regulations, titled “Delegation and Assignment of Performance of Cosmetic Medical Procedures and Use of Cosmetic Medical Devices.”

Our Baltimore County personal injury law firm aggressively pursues claims of medical malpractice in the state of Maryland. Whether a medical procedure is performed in a hospital, surgical center, or in a doctor’s office — mistakes can happen. When a patient has a procedure in a hospital or a physician’s office, they trust their medical care providers to “do no harm.”

If medical error is suspected in a patient injury or death, contact an experienced Md. medical malpractice attorney right away. These cases become very complicated very quickly, and injured parties would be ill-advised to try to pursue a resolution on their own.


Procedures In Doctor’s Offices (audio clip)
WBZ 1030 News Radio, July 10, 2913
Regulation of Office-based Surgery (A-M) (PDF)
Federation of State Medical Boards, page 70
Code of Maryland Regulations — Subtitle 32-Board of Physicians
Maryland Dept. of Health and Mental Hygiene : Maryland Board of Physicians

Related Web Resources:

Maryland Medical Board

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