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Study: Sleep Deprived Doctors Are Four Times More Likely to Make Mistakes

 Posted on August 04, 2022 in Medical Malpractice

Winnebago County medical malpractice attorneyAlmost everyone has experienced the sensation of sleep deprivation at some point in their lives. Whether it is a new parent kept awake by a crying baby or an employee working a double shift, not getting enough sleep can be miserable. However, when the sleep deprived person is a doctor or surgeon, the effects of sleep deprivation can be catastrophic. Medical mistakes caused by sleep deprived medical professionals can lead to significant patient injuries and even death.

Medical Errors Caused by Doctor Fatigue

Studies show that doctors who have not slept are much more likely to make medical errors. One study found that junior doctors working a 34-hour shift were over 400 percent more likely to make a diagnostic mistake. Another study found that moderate sleep deprivation caused a 53 percent increase in serious medical errors while significant sleep deprivation caused a 97 percent increase in medical errors.

Inadequate sleep causes emotional dysregulation, diminished concentration, reduced attention, decreased vigilance, and impaired ability to perform cognitive tasks. Unfortunately, it is often the patients who suffer the most from doctors’ sleep deprivation. Doctors and surgeons who are too sleepy to perform their job correctly may ignore crucial patient symptoms, prescribe the wrong medication, or physically injure the patient during a procedure. The effects of medical errors can range from mild discomfort to life-threatening injuries.

Medical Malpractice Claims for Patient Injuries and Deaths

If a patient is harmed by a medical professional’s mistake, the patient may be able to take legal action against the at-fault party. The patient may be eligible for reimbursement for expenses such as additional medical bills and lost wages from time off of work. The patient may also be compensated for his or her non-financial losses such as pain and suffering. If a patient’s death is caused by medical negligence, the patient’s surviving loved ones may be able to bring a claim for monetary damages. A claim cannot undo the pain of losing a family member due to a medical error, but it may help cover financial losses like lost income and funeral expenses.

Contact a Rockford Medical Malpractice Lawyer

When doctors, surgeons, and other medical professionals do not get enough sleep, it is often the patients who suffer as a result. If you or a loved one were the victim of negligent medical treatment, contact Mannarino & Brasfield, A Division of KJS for help taking legal action. You may be entitled to financial recovery. Call our experienced Winnebago County medical malpractice attorneys at 815-215-7561 for a free consultation.

 

Sources:

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)31316-3/fulltext

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jamanetworkopen/fullarticle/2773777

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