Interest in whether tired doctors might be dangerous has reached a point that is difficult to ignore in New York, medical malpractice attorneys say.
New York, NY (PRWEB) January 27, 2010 -- Medical professionals of any kind have an obligation to provide a level of medical care at or above the accepted standards of practice in the medical community. Unfortunately, a number of issues may compromise this standard of care. An overworked or exhausted doctor can cause serious injury to a patient and their actions can lead to an expensive medical malpractice lawsuit says New York medical malpractice attorney David Perecman.
The January 17 New York Post describes a doctor who had been on-call at a hospital for over 24 hours straight. She heard her name over the paging system, but forgot to respond to the call. A woman was left in pain waiting for the exhausted doctor to come.
On another overnight shift, a tired doctor accidentally stuck herself with a needle while drawing blood. During one week, she had logged 120 hours on the job.
Another overtired medical student on a 28-hour shift was unable to calculate a medication dose.
The long hours are a violation of work rules. However, residents and experts say that these hours are commonplace among residents at New York City hospitals. There's little doubt that this practice puts patients at extreme risk. These schedules need to be changed in order to save lives.
New York's medical malpractice attorneys express surprise that hospitals don't do more to provide opportunities for residents to get more rest so they can make a correct medical diagnosis.
"There are proven links between exhaustion and liability. Calmer, well rested doctors are more careful and therefore get sued less," said David Perecman, a New York medical malpractice attorney with a law firm in Manhattan.
According to Dr. Charles Czeisler, a Harvard Medical School sleep expert, one out of five interns admits to injuring a patient due to a fatigue-related mistake. One out of twenty interns admit to making a fatigue-related mistake that has resulted in a patient's death."
By any standards, including those in New York, medical malpractice lawsuits are a common result of incidents like these.
"Medicine is extremely unforgiving of slips that appear minor. A faulty medical diagnosis, a wrong decimal point, a reversed number, incorrect labeling of right and left, or a forgotten drug interaction, and the results can be catastrophic," said New York medical malpractice attorney Perecman.
And to correct these mistakes, doctors don't need fancy expensive medical equipment. All they need is rest.
About David Perecman and The Perecman Firm, PLLC:
For the past 30 years, the New York medical malpractice attorneys, auto accident, construction accident, and personal injury attorneys at The Perecman Firm, PLLC have championed all types of cases for medical malpractice injuries. David Perecman, founder of the Firm, is a Board Director and the past Secretary and Treasurer of the New York State Trial Lawyers Association (NYSTLA) and a chair of its Labor Law Committee. Mr. Perecman's achievements have brought him recognition as an Honoree in the National Law Journal's Hall of Fame, in New York Magazine's "The Best Lawyers in America" and The New York Times Magazine "New York Super Lawyers, Metro Edition" for the years 2007-2010.
The Firm has recovered millions of dollars for its clients. Among the more recent victories, Mr. Perecman won a $15 million verdict* for a construction accident, a $5.35 million dollar verdict** for an automobile accident, and a $40 million dollar structured settlement for medical malpractice.
*later settled while on appeal for $7.940 million
** later settled for $3.5 million
"Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome."
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