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Patients Want Medical Residents to Get More Sleep to Avoid Harmful Medical Errors

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Medical resident resting due to needing more sleep on Long Island.

Medical malpractice occurs when a medical professional such as a doctor, nurse, or a pharmacist deviates from a specific standard of care and either negligently or intentionally causes harm to a patient.  In other words, malpractice generally arises when medical professionals fail to competently perform a procedure or other medical task in accordance with their medical duties.  The failure to follow their duties can be the result of a number of different reasons.  For example, a medical error can result if a physician performs a complicated procedure after working well beyond the point of exhaustion.  Fatigue can seriously hamper a medical professional’s ability to problem solve and focus, which can have dire consequences for the patients under their care.

What Can Be Done to Reduce Potential Medical Mistakes

In a recent poll commissioned by a consumer rights advocacy group, Public Citizen, and conducted by Lake Research Partners, nearly ninety percent of those surveyed oppose lifting the sixteen-hour shift limit for first-year medical residents.  The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) placed these restrictions on residents in 2011, and many physician organizations have been advocating for allowing medical residents to work twenty-eight hours or more without sleep.  However, of the five hundred people who responded to the survey, not only do they want the sixteen-hour limit to remain for first year residents, but eighty percent of them actually want to see the shift limit decreased from twenty-eight hours to at most sixteen hours even for residents who are in their second or subsequent year of residency.  Moreover, a majority of the respondents claimed that they would like to be informed as to whether the resident caring for them had been working a sixteen-hour shift without sleep. These survey results are significant in that patients realize that a fatigued medical professional can directly and adversely affect them, causing serious injuries, illnesses, and death and that a way to limit these damages is to make sure that residents get the sleep and the rest they need to perform their medical duties.

Contact a Long Island Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you or a loved one has been the victim of medical malpractice, no matter whether your medical or health care provider was fatigued or caused you harm due to some other reason, it is imperative that you consult with an experienced Long Island Medical Malpractice Attorney as soon as possible to find out if you might have a claim for damages.  The attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP, have a record of achieving significant results for our clients and have the experience, the knowledge, and the resources necessary to make sure you obtain the best possible results in your case.

Call our attorneys at the Law Office of Cohen & Jaffe, LLP today at (516) 358-6900 to learn how we might help you.  We are available 24/7 so don’t hesitate to contact us at any time, day or night.

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