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Sleep deprived doctors report more medical errors

On Behalf of | Dec 16, 2020 | Medical Malpractice

Many Delaware patients have probably heard their doctors discuss the importance of getting enough sleep. Unfortunately, it seems like many physicians are not taking their own medical advice. Sleep deprivation among physicians often leads to medical errors which can have devastating outcomes for patients.

From Nov. 2016 to Oct. 2018, researchers conducted a long term survey of approximately 11,300 physicians. Researchers asked participants to provide responses on both their sleeping habits as well as their self-reported medical errors. Of the surveyed physicians, 7,762 provided information on medical errors they had committed. Researchers found that residents were the group with the highest rates of sleep impairment, and of those surgical residents were the most sleep deprived. Emergency medicine specialists were the most sleep deprived among attending physicians.

Researchers found that physicians suffering from moderate sleep deprivation are 53% more likely to self report a significant medical error. Physicians who are seriously sleep impaired are a shocking 97% more likely to report the same. Since this survey relied on self-reported errors, it is possible that the real number could be much higher. Based on this survey, researchers believe that interventions to minimize sleep impairment among doctors is important.

In a medical setting, a single mistake can have lifelong consequences. Victims of medical errors often suffer long term physical problems, emotional damages and even financial losses. Holding those responsible for these errors is often key to recovery, and victims in Delaware may find that this is best accomplished through a successfully navigated medical malpractice suit.