Study Emphasizes Risk of Fatigue Being Common Among Surgical Residents

Florida Surgical Error InjuryFatigued medical resident errors are entirely preventable. According to a recent report in the Archives of Surgery, surgical residents often feel tired, which places them at a higher risk for committing medical mistakes.

The study looked at orthopedic residents at two of Harvard’s hospitals over a 2-week period. What researchers found was stunning: 27% of the residents said they were impaired by lack of sleep.

The residents reported that they averaged just a little over 5 hours of sleep a day. One author of the study said that the sleep impairment experienced by the doctors-in-training was “as severe as that expected from a blood alcohol level of 0.08%.” The study concluded that the level of fatigue reported by the residents increased the risk of medical error by 22% when compared with well-rested residents.

Two residents who participated in the study were averaging only about 4 hours of sleep daily. According to an author of the study, the predicted risk of medical error in their cases was increased by a staggering 43%.

“We found that resident fatigue was prevalent, pervasive and variable and accounted for an increased risk of medical error across the program,” the study said. It also stated that medical centers should find out when residents are most at risk of committing medical errors and develop interventions to reduce that risk.

If you or a loved one have suffered harm due to a fatigued medical professional’s medical error, the medical malpractice law firm of Farah & Farah will use all resources at its command to see that justice is done for you and your family. Our Jacksonville medical malpractice attorneys will do whatever it takes to see that your legal rights are protected. Contact us at (800) 533-3555 today for a free and confidential consultation.