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The Dangers Of Doctor Fatigue


Getting enough rest is critical to being a healthy, functioning human. Lack of adequate rest contributes to slower response times, poor decision-making, and failures of high-level cognitive functions. Regardless of the kind of work a person does, they must get enough rest so they can be able to perform their job effectively. However, it is especially important for doctors to get enough rest. If a doctor performs their work while tired, it can put patients in harm’s way. Fatigue can result in a doctor making a medical mistake that causes serious injury or death.

Below we talk more about the dangers of doctor fatigue.

Why Is Doctor Fatigue So Dangerous?

Just because a doctor is tired does not mean they cannot perform their work well. However, there reaches a point where doctor fatigue becomes dangerous. Doctor fatigue arises when a doctor experiences, among others, the following symptoms:

  • Physical exhaustion
  • Mental exhaustion
  • Feelings of reduced effectiveness

Doctor fatigue can be caused by, among other things, sleep deprivation, stress, and overworking.

Doctor fatigue is particularly dangerous because it can result in physical mistakes (e.g., surgical errors), diminished judgment, oversights, and technical mistakes. For example, fatigue can cause the following errors:

  • Misdiagnosing a patient
  • Misinterpreting lab results
  • Surgical mistakes
  • Overlooking a critical lab result
  • Prescribing the wrong medication or the wrong dosage
  • Ordering the wrong tests
  • Miscommunication with the patient or medical team
  • Making a mistake on a medical chart

Doctor Fatigue Can Be Considered Medical Malpractice

When a doctor cannot do their job well because they are fatigued, patients and patients’ families suffer the consequences. Patients should not suffer because a doctor is fatigued. Doctors should follow shift regulations and avoid handling patients when they are sleep-deprived, and hospitals should hold doctors to these regulations.

Injuries caused by doctor fatigue can support a medical malpractice claim. This is because doctors understand the dangers of doctor fatigue. When a doctor chooses to attend to a patient while tired, it can be considered negligence if the doctor harms the patient. If you or your loved one was harmed due to doctor fatigue, it is best that you speak to a qualified medical malpractice attorney. An experienced attorney can help investigate your case, identify all liable parties, and present a strong case that will ensure you recover the maximum compensation possible.

Contact an Atlanta Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you or your loved one has fallen victim to medical malpractice, contact our Atlanta medical malpractice attorney at Carroll Law Firm for legal help.



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