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Does fatigue contribute to physician mistakes?

On Behalf of | Aug 25, 2021 | Medical Malpractice |

In any profession, working an extended number of hours could lead to making mistakes on the job. Mandatory breaks and maximum shift hours make sense with many occupations, but doctors sometimes work longer hours due to emergencies. Patients in Illinois health care facilities still expect appropriate treatment and care even when a physician feels fatigued. A tired doctor may make mistakes that are considered medical malpractice.

Doctors, fatigue and malpractice

Research reveals an interesting reason why some doctors suggest cancer screenings occur earlier in the morning. At 9 a.m., a doctor might be more alert than at 4 p.m. By late afternoon, a doctor might feel tired and become prone to making mistakes, so a screening earlier in the day might be more advisable for the patient.

Such information may prove alarming to anyone who is unable to make an early morning appointment. In truth, an error made by a doctor at any time of day may lead to a catastrophe.

“Feeling tired” won’t likely provide a doctor or hospital with a viable excuse if the parties face a medical malpractice claim. Physicians who feel unable to perform their duties effectively could step aside and allow someone else to handle the tasks.

Malpractice and physician errors

Several different mistakes fall under the description of medical malpractice. A wrong diagnosis or improper treatment may cause harm. Rushing through an examination or not taking a patient’s concerns seriously might result in terrible consequences, too.

Fatigue may lead to a doctor making mistakes when attempting to provide care. Doctors who continue to work while feeling tired or under the weather may be liable for any errors that cause a patient harm.