The relationship between fatigue and surgical errors

| Dec 24, 2020 | Medical Malpractice |

Many medical patients in West Virginia have no problem placing their complete confidence in their physicians when a medical procedure is necessary. But even the most skilled and dedicated doctors are not immune to mistakes. The bad news for patients is that an error from a surgeon or other physician can bring more drastic consequences than mistakes in other professions.

The effects of sleep loss

A career as a doctor is a demanding profession that requires long hours of work. These conditions can become problematic due to the increased probability of medical errors when physicians do not receive the sleep they need. A recent study published in a popular medical journal shed a bit of light on the effect that moderate sleep deprivation can have on instances of medical malpractice.

The survey included physicians working at 11 medical centers across the country who reported various levels of sleep-deprivation. Study participants who suffered from moderate sleep deprivation proved 53% more likely to make an error that represented a significant medical threat to the patient. And even more alarming is the fact that physicians who reported the highest levels of sleep deprivation were 97% more likely to become guilty of a critical error.

The study showed that sleep deprivation causes an increase in burnout rates and less fulfillment for physicians. Doctors who do not enjoy adequate sleep were also more likely to self-report errors that are medically significant. Study authors suggest that medical facilities take measures to eliminate sleep impairments for physicians.

Seeking just compensation

Patients expect positive results when they submit themselves to the medical care of a surgeon or other physician. When patients suffer an injury that results from medical malpractice, it is only natural for victims to expect compensation. An attorney with medical malpractice experience may help obtain the compensation victims feel they deserve.