Preventable medical errors are more frequent during holidays, weekends, nights, and during the winter and summer. While it is not always possible to decide when you will be in the hospital, if you have an elective procedure coming up, you will want to take precautions to minimize the risk of medical error and medical malpractice.
For example, in the medical profession it is known that medication errors and other preventable medical errors occur in academic hospitals across the country every July. This is known as “the July Effect” and occurs when new first year medical residents join academic hospitals during July. A study in the Journal of General Internal Medicine reports that when experienced hospital staff leave on vacation in July and are replaced by new residents, errors increase sharply. Locations without teaching hospitals, according to the research study, do not experience the same July effect.
Studies have shown that spring break, weekends, nights, summer vacation, long weekends, and holidays are among the worst times to be admitted to hospital. According to studies done, medical errors are more likely during these times because there is less hospital staff during these times and less experienced staff (staff with less seniority) are often on staff during these times. Some medical services may also not be available during these higher-risk times. These small changes can have a profound impact on patient results. According to research published in the CHEST, patients admitted on weekends to the ICU (Intensive Care Unit) at hospitals were 6% more likely to die than patients admitted during the week.
In addition to medical errors, patients need to be careful about Florida medical malpractice. Far beyond being just a mistake, Florida medical malpractice occurs when a doctor or health care professional is reckless or negligent in their duties, leading to personal injury or fatalities. Each year, Florida patients are killed or suffer serious Florida personal injuries and complications due to medical malpractice. However, Florida malpractice suits are very hard to prove, because it is often difficult to prove that a case involves negligence rather than simple error. A qualified Florida medical malpractice attorney is needed in these cases.
There are many things that patients can do to help prevent malpractice and medical error. Patients have rights in hospitals, for example, and should speak up to demand those rights. For example, patients should ask medical professionals to carefully explain all treatments, options, and diagnoses. Patients should also ask medical professionals to wash their hands and don new gloves when treating them. Many patients find it useful to bring a friend with them, who can jot down information and answers to questions.
If you or a loved one have been injured in a medical setting and you believe that you have been the victim of medical malpractice, contact the Flaxman Law Group for a free, no-obligation consultation. The legal team at the Flaxman Group is proud to serve Hollywood, Miami, Homestead, and surrounding South Florida communities. Our legal team has the experience to help you in your search for answers.