Does drowsiness lead to medical mistakes?

On Behalf of | Nov 2, 2020 | Medical Malpractice |

Ohio residents like you expect top tier care when you go to a medical facility. This means high standards of cleanliness and attentiveness to patients. It also means providing prompt and accurate service that addresses your health problems.

Unfortunately, staff is not always in tip-top form. For many medical professionals, the amount of sleep they get can impact how well they care for you.

Prevalence of errors in medicine

The National Institutes of Health examine common causes for medical errors. A lack of sleep ranks among the most prevalent and reoccurring causes. They cite a study in which 130 postgraduate students underwent a questionnaire about errors and their related responses. Of these 130 residents, 128 claimed to have experienced a form of error.

Of these 128 claimed errors, the majority ended up attributed to one thing: fatigue. In specific, fatigue due to the long hours of duty that staff served. 85 of the 128 people cited fatigue as their primary reason for mistakes. Inadequate experience was the next runner-up, with 66 of the remaining individuals citing this as their primary issue.

How fatigue affects staff

As we know, fatigue impacts many aspects of your mind and body. People who are sleep deprived tend to have slower reflexes and a harder time recalling things. This is disastrous in a high-traffic area like a hospital. Here, it is crucial for staff to remember many patients and their treatments and schedules.

Many avoidable mix-ups and mistakes happen due to fatigued staffers. Because people do not sleep enough, patients like you may suffer through medical mishaps that you could have avoided.


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