When Doctor Fatigue Leads to Patient Injury
Fatigue can be dangerous in any number of situations. For instance, we know that drowsy driving can be just as dangerous as drunk driving. Moreover, fatigue can cause anyone to make errors they would not normally make. But this is especially dangerous for medical professionals who have other people’s lives in their hands.
It is no secret that doctors, particularly those going through their residencies, work long hours. Currently, medical residents are allowed to work no more than 80 hours per week. They cannot work longer than 24 hours straight, and must have one day off per week. Even those who follow these regulations can easily experience exhaustion and fatigue. But reports show that many residents and doctors work beyond the allowed number of hours. Regardless, most patients would probably prefer not to be seen by a doctor who is at the end of a 24-hour shift after working 80 hours that week.
Doctor fatigue can lead to serious errors. These include misdiagnosis, surgical errors, prescribing the wrong medication or even operating on the wrong body part.
Mistakes from Doctor Fatigue can Qualify as Medical Malpractice
According to California law, medical malpractice results when a healthcare professional breaches the standard of care when treating a patient, causing injury to the patient. The standard of care is the accepted practices all healthcare professionals adhere to when treating patients.
If doctor fatigue results in an injury, the doctor and medical practice could very well be held accountable for malpractice. If the investigation reveals the medical practice allowed doctors to routinely break federal regulations to work longer hours, the practice could also be held liable for the resulting injuries.
“Every patient has the right to the acceptable standard of care. When that standard is breached and a patient is hurt as a result, they deserve to be compensated for their injuries,” said Attorney Walter Clark, founder of Walter Clark Legal Group.
Our firm has been handling personal injury cases throughout the California Low Desert and High Desert communities for over 30 years. With a 95% success rate, the California personal injury attorneys at Walter Clark Legal Group will fight to hold those responsible for your loss accountable and win compensation to cover medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering. If you have been injured and want to discuss your legal options, contact us today at (760) 777-7777 for a free consultation with an experienced personal injury lawyer. We have offices in Indio, Rancho Mirage, Victorville, and Yucca Valley and represent clients through the entire California Low Desert and High Desert communities.
DISCLAIMER: The Walter Clark Legal Group blog is intended for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal or medical advice. References to laws are based on general legal practices and vary by location. Information reported comes from secondary news sources. We do handle these types of cases, but whether or not the individuals and/or loved ones involved in these accidents choose to be represented by a law firm is a personal choice we respect. Should you find any of the information incorrect, we welcome you to contact us with corrections.