Medical Malpractice Attorney in Baltimore: Has Your Surgeon Had Enough Sleep?

There are many things patients worry about as they head into surgery. Unfortunately, there may be one more thing to add to the list — whether the surgeon has had enough sleep.

A 2012 study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) sought to quantify fatigue for resident surgeons and the risk for error caused by that fatigue. The results? Fatigue levels were higher than had been anticipated, especially during the night float rotation.

How did the study gather the information? It gave watch-like devices to 27 orthopedic surgical residents to measure their sleep, activity and mental fatigue. The instruments revealed that the residents averaged a little more than five hours of sleep per day. As a result, the residents functioned at less than 80 percent of their full mental capacity almost half the time they were awake. Almost 30 percent of the time, the residents were working at less than 70 percent of full mental capacity.

The authors of the study pointed out that no actual errors were recorded and that they were measuring only the risk of error. They suggested that changing hours by eliminating the night shift could make a difference in that risk of error.

What does this mean for patients and their worries about medical malpractice? The answer may not be so clear. While patients can ask their surgeons whether they had a good night’s sleep, the experts say there is simple answer for what a patient should do if the surgeon says no.

Contact Baltimore Medical Malpractice Lawyers at Leviness, Tolzman & Hamilton Today for Experienced Legal Representation

If you or a loved one has suffered from medical malpractice carried out by a fatigued surgeon, contact a skilled medical malpractice attorney in Baltimore at LeViness, Tolzman & Hamilton, P.A. for information on how you can get the compensation you deserve,