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Sleep Deprivation and Medical Errors

Published on March 16th, 2023

Sleep deprivation is a serious problem for almost everyone these days. However, not everyone is intubating a patient who can’t breathe or wielding a scalpel during an open-heart surgery. Sleep deprivation among medical professionals is a serious issue that compromises patient safety and can lead to disastrous consequences.

Medical Professionals Tend to Accept Sleep Deprivation

In a culture that seems to accept working 24 hours around the clock during medical residency and normalization of long shifts without a break, medical professionals tend to believe they are superhuman when it comes to resisting the need for sleep. Unfortunately, despite their extensive knowledge and propensity for saving lives, they are not immune to exhaustion and the behavioral effects of sleep deprivation.
Medical Professional facing Sleep Deprivation

The Need for Regulation

Many doctors and nurses believe it is more important to stay awake and push through, even when they are exhausted, than to admit they are operating at less than peak performance due to lack of sleep. Unfortunately, this can lead to poor focus, erratic performance, and occasionally, significant medical errors.

In order to prevent accidents, truck drivers are curtailed from driving for too long without sleep. However, medical professionals are not subject to similar regulations. Such rules could provide a much needed solution to an ongoing problem that often results in medical errors, malpractice lawsuits, and ruined lives and careers. Unfortunately, medical institutions regularly require personnel to work long shifts and endless hours due to staffing shortages and their own interests in financial profit.

Malpractice Attorneys Who Care About Patient Protection

Our team at The Crosby Law Firm understands the importance of sleep, and what can happen when an exhausted medical professional makes an avoidable medical error due to sleep deprivation. We believe this is an often overlooked situation that places patients at serious risk and should be addressed by the responsible parties.

Medical negligence is never acceptable, no matter what transpires, but it may be especially upsetting to find out an error was caused simply because a doctor or nurse did not get adequate sleep. If you or someone you love has been injured due to suspected medical malpractice, reach out to our dedicated team of personal injury attorneys in Rockford, IL at The Crosby Law Firm to learn more about your options.

Contact us online, or when you call (815) 397-2007 today, to request a free case consultation with one of our Rockford lawyers.

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