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
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.
Source: New York Times, "Focus on Hospitals' 'July Effect'," Nicholas Bakalar, Feb. 4, 2013