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Lack of sleep increases risk of malpractice claims

On Behalf of | Mar 29, 2021 | Medical Malpractice

Massachusetts patients often complain about the lack of sleep they get while staying in a hospital. Being awakened for vital sign checks, by noises from medical machines, and being in a strange environment may all contribute to a lack of rest. The lack of sleep may do more than just leave patients tired; sleep deprivation may make patients more likely to sue their doctor.

Sleep in hospitals

Though the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults get between seven and nine hours of sleep each night, studies show that patients in hospitals get significantly less. A study published in the Journal of Hospitalized Medicine found that the average patient slept only 5.5 hours per night during their hospital stay.

Effects of sleep on medical mistakes

The lack of sleep that patients get in hospitals can result in more than poor health; it can cause them to seek the maximum consequences for medical mistakes. Medical mistakes are common in hospitals. An estimated 40,000 to 80,000 people are injured or die annually because of being misdiagnosed in the emergency room. Another 4,000 people are injured or die due to surgical errors each year in the United States. These surgical errors sometimes include serious mistakes such as leaving a surgical tool in the patient or operating on the wrong organ.

Many patients choose to file malpractice suits against the doctor(s) whose negligence caused their harm. This may be more true among the sleep-deprived. One study found that patients who didn’t get enough sleep were more likely to recommend the maximum consequence for the doctor who made the mistake.

Getting help with a malpractice lawsuit

Doctors have the responsibility to perform their best when diagnosing and caring for a patient. A negligent doctor could be responsible for the harm that was suffered by the patient or the patient’s family. Filing a medical malpractice claim suit may be the best option.