While you can never really predict when a medical mistake will be made, there are some times of the year where there are increased risks. As a patient, you should be aware of these risks and simply avoid them to help protect you from medical malpractice. It is that simple to just not get treatment when there is the likelihood of increased injury or risk of injury due to medical malpractice.
So what are some of those common times of the year?
July and Medical Residents
It may be a rumor or joke amongst non-medical professionals, but it is really true that July is a bad time of the year to get any procedures scheduled or to seek treatment. This is because the new batch of first-year medical residents enter their assigned teaching hospitals. Studies have shown that the rate of medication errors in July exponentially increases. Other mistakes are common too, but less likely surgery mistakes since first year residents are not performing surgeries. But many emergency room errors are present, particularly increased infections.
And while it may be a rumor or joke amongst non-medical professionals, it is not a joke to medical professionals.
Trusted nurses and other healthcare providers will tell you that many first year residents do not know what they are doing yet—they are just getting their feet under them. While they may be brilliant in terms of books and on paper, they do not have the experience necessary to always competently combine what they have learned with what they are experiencing.
Weekends and the Skeleton Crew
It is also a known fact that hospitals tend to staff lighter on the weekend. This is particularly true of the weekend nights, which are usually given to lower-priority or lower-seniority medical providers. This generally means less-experienced, which increases danger.
This means that if there are a lot of medical emergencies, it will be harder to triage them all or to treat them all in a timely manner. Patients may not get the attention and medical treatment that they deserve. Other patients may be thrown to the wayside for worse-off patients, whereas during a weekday it may not happen.
Holidays are Dangerous, Especially the Big Holidays
Similarly to weekends, the holidays are days that the staff with the longest seniority will get to pick off. This means the longer tenured staff will get first pick at the holidays, and likely will take off the biggest ones such as Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Years, and Fourth of July. This leaves the less-experienced doctors and staff present which can result in more medical errors.
This is why July Fourth can be particularly dangerous because new residents are starting and the most experienced providers are away.
But what do you think? I would love to hear from you! Leave a comment or I also welcome your phone call on my toll-free cell at 1-866-889-6882 or you can drop me an e-mail at [email protected] You are always welcome to request my FREE book, The Seven Deadly Mistakes of Malpractice Victims, at the home page of my website at www.protectingpatientrights.com.