Understanding surgery and fatigue

On Behalf of | Sep 1, 2015 | Surgical Errors

New Mexico residents might be interested in learning more about recent research that shows surgeons’ performance may be unaffected from fatigue attributable to working overnight. Researchers from Ontario only tabulated a 0.2 percent difference between physicians who performed elective surgery from midnight to 7 a.m., and those who received an adequate night’s rest. The probability of these doctors encountering a surgical issue was 22.2 percent and 22.4 percent, respectively.

The head author of the study holds that the new research classes recent proposals advising doctors to inform patients that have been deprived of sleep. However, the recent study failed to identify how many minutes of rest the surgeons actually slept the night before. A physician who authored a conflicting report in 2009 contends that when the sleep is measure accurately, the likelihood of a mistake is dependent upon whether doctors had gotten more or less than six hours of sleep. These researchers find that the heightened risk created by a lack of sleep is enough to warrant informing patients anytime their surgeon has been working overnights or consecutive shifts.

The most recent study involved around 39,000 cases from over 1,400 surgeons working at 147 hospitals local to Ontario. The study involved reviewing a wide-range of 12 different types of operations over a five-year span. Some of the surgeries reviewed were hip replacements, bypass surgeries and hysterectomies, among others. Researchers found little difference between surgeons who worked without sleep and those who received an adequate amount.

Anyone suffering medical injuries due to a physician’s incompetence or fatigue may wish to seek advice from lawyer. Legal counsel might be prepared to investigate the allegations and help determine if the medical facility, hospital staff or overseeing physician is culpable for the ensuing damages. Plaintiffs in these medical malpractice cases may be entitled to recover compensation that helps account for rehabilitation costs, corrective procedures and other costs related to the surgical error.


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