Increase of Laser Surgery Suits against Non-Doctors in the U.S.
Laser Surgery Procedures and Rising Lawsuits
“The supervising physician shall be physically present on-site, immediately available, and able to respond promptly to any question or problem that may occur while the procedure is being performed.” – American Society for Dermatologic Surgery Association as published by Fox News
According to a study conducted by the University of California, Los Angeles, 75 out of 175 legal cases related to laser-based surgery involved persons other than physicians operating the laser.
Furthermore, the proportion of lawsuits involving nurses, medical assistants, technicians or interns operating the laser more than doubled between 2008 and 2011.
Most lawsuits in the study involved laser hair removal, followed by rejuvenation. Also, most surgeries were performed outside of formal medical facilities, such as day spas.
Dr. H. Ray Jailan, head researcher on the study at the University of California, Los Angeles, stated to Fox News that without regulation of health professionals, patients are bearing the risk of surgery, including eye injuries and burn injuries, with little information provided to them.
Differing State Regulations for Non-Doctor Laser Operators
Dr. Murad Alam, a dermatologist, of the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago stated to Fox News that each state has different regulations when it comes to terms with who is allowed to perform laser surgery and if supervision is necessary.
For example, in Maine, only doctors may perform laser surgery; however, in Nevada there are no restrictions on who can operate a laser.
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