How Doctor Fatigue Contributes to Medical Malpractice

Worker fatigue can happen in any field, but it can be most dangerous in the medical field, where doctors must be as ready as possible for emergencies and difficult decisions. If your doctor is fatigued and unable to focus on your case properly, it can lead to major mistakes. In some cases, it may even be ruled as medical negligence.

Remember that when a doctor is not doing their best work, it can put you at a much higher risk of injury and death. Worse, those mistakes could have been preventable if your doctor was not exhausted. Understanding your rights as a patient and as an injury victim can help you better navigate situations when doctors are fatigued. A Portland medical malpractice attorney with Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC can help you assess your legal options if a doctor’s fatigue led to injury.

Doctor Fatigue Has Led to Dangerous Mistakes

When identifying the dangers of doctor fatigue, we can look at the reported deaths due to diagnostic errors, errors in judgment, and other issues that may stem from it. A 2016 open letter from Johns Hopkins Medicine to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) highlighted the exact dangers of doctor fatigue. Their studies found an incident rate of more than 250,000 deaths per year.

In perspective, this would account for 9.7% of all deaths in the country according to their calculations. This letter was written specifically to the CDC to illustrate that, when we measure for doctor errors, they account for more than the fourth leading cause of death, according to the CDC. Worse, this number may be an underestimation because it strictly includes deaths caused in an inpatient system.

While these numbers may be much higher in reality, this is already a significant number of deaths caused by doctors’ mistakes. In fact, these errors can lead to grounds for medical malpractice. Doctor fatigue and the overworking of health care professionals is a significant contributing factor in many medical malpractice claims.

Signs of Doctor Fatigue

When seeking the aid of a doctor, you may be concerned that they are experiencing extreme fatigue. This can impact not just their decision-making but their cognitive function and their mood. Below are just a few signs of doctor fatigue to watch for:

In more serious situations, doctor fatigue can lead to depression, suicidal thoughts, and depersonalization, among other symptoms. This causes issues for both the doctor and the patient. When a doctor is unable to work effectively, those in their care, especially those in emergency situations, may face the negative consequences of that fatigue.

Reach Out for Help Filing a Medical Malpractice Claim

When a doctor makes a dangerous mistake, this sometimes comes from a place of exhaustion. Doctor fatigue is a serious issue that has led to many injuries and deaths that could have been prevented through safety standards regarding doctor exhaustion. Unfortunately, you may now be dealing with a medical malpractice claim.

At Paulson Coletti Trial Attorneys PC, we understand how devastating medical malpractice can be, and we understand that it can be difficult to recover when your doctor makes a dangerous mistake. Fortunately, our team offers free consultations for those who are struggling to recover from these injuries, and we are ready to take action. To learn more about our services, reach out by calling or filling out our online contact form.