A recent study revealed a frightening statistic – that doctors tend to make more mistakes in the afternoon. Thus, in order to receive the best care, you should schedule your appointments early in the day, while your doctor is fresh. An observer noted that due to our natural body clocks, people tend to get sleepy mid-afternoon, including doctors and nurses. However, when health care professional become fatigued on the job, the results can be catastrophic.
For example, the study found that for procedures beginning at 9 a.m., anesthesiology errors occurred at a rate of 1%. However, for procedures that take place between 3 pm and 4 pm, the rate quadrupled to 4.2%. The studies authors attributed the increase to “afternoon circadian lows.” Other alarming late afternoon findings included an increase in unnecessary prescriptions, a lowered incidence of cancer detection, increased infection rates due to decreased hand-washing, and a jump in communication errors due to shift changes in care teams.
Many people experience an afternoon “slump,” however, this study shows the sometimes devastating and life-threatening results that can occur when doctors and other health care providers are affected.
If you believe you or a loved one has been harmed due to any type of medical error, please contact the dedicated Los Angeles medical malpractice lawyers at Bostwick & Peterson, LLP for an immediate consultation.