Posted on Monday, March 6th, 2017 at 4:13 am    

Becoming a doctor requires many years of school and training. During school, many students learn to live on a few hours of sleep as the study for mid-terms and final exams. When these young doctors graduate from medical school, they are expected to work long, grueling hours as residents to learn more about the practice of medicine. However, is a doctor’s work hours a danger for patients?

How Long Do Residents Work?

At this time, a resident can work up to 16 hours in a row.  However, if new rules are passed, the time a resident can be required to work without time off will drastically increase. The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME), the body that oversees residents, has proposed new rules regarding work hours for residents.

Under the new rules, a medical resident can work shifts consisting of 28 hours without eight hours off between shifts. The new rules also permit a resident to work more than six night shifts in a row. In addition, a resident will not be required to report being required to work a shaft in excess of 28 hours if the choice to work those hours rests with the resident. If passed, these new rules could increase the risk of medical malpractice.

The Risks Associated with Long Hours

Drowsy doctors are a danger to themselves and their patients. Studies have concluded that serious medical errors increase with long work hours. An article in the New England Journal of Medicine reports that interns on a traditional residency schedule have a 22 percent higher rate of serious errors.

In addition to increasing the risk of medical errors, long work hours are dangerous for the residents.  Residents who are tired are more prone to needle-stick injuries and car accidents. Also, residents who are sleep deprived are at a higher risk for suicide attempts.

Drowsy Drivers and Medical Malpractice

Patients should be able to rely on their doctors to provide the best medical care possible, especially in an emergency.  When hospitals and other medical facilities require their residents and staff to work long hours, the standard of care provided to patients can suffer. When doctors are tired, mistakes can happen, and those mistakes can result in permanent, life-altering conditions and disabilities. Some mistakes result in wrongful deaths. Someone other than the innocent victim should be required to pay for the damages caused by medical malpractice.

Unfortunately, a monetary judgment cannot undo the damage caused by medical malpractice, but it can help provide much needed medical and personal care. A monetary judgment can also provide much-needed funds for a victim who is unable to work due to the damage caused by the malpractice.

Lastly, a medical malpractice lawsuit forces the medical community to recognize why mistakes occur. In some cases, new safety measures or standards can be put in place that prevents another patient from being harmed in the same manner.

Call a Sacramento Medical Malpractice Attorney

If you suspect you are the victim of medical malpractice, you must act quickly to protect your right to recover compensation for your damages. Call the Tiemann Law Firm at (916) 999-9000 or contact our office online to request a free consultation with a medical malpractice lawyer.  Our attorneys serve clients in SacramentoFolsomRoseville, El Dorado Hills and other communities in the greater Sacramento area.

Client Testimonials

Jereme S. Testimonial
Quote

No one wants to have to hire a lawyer, but if you do. I prefer Tiemann Law. They helped a family member who was injured on the job, and the company did not want to compensate him even though, the injury occurred on the job on company time. Jelena was always professional in explaining the lengthy process of fighting a large corporation. 2 years later he finally is receiving the deserved compensation.

Hanna Padilla Testimonial
Quote

From the very start of my case the Tiemann Law Firm was wonderful. Perter came all the way to my home to sit down and talk to me about my options. He made me and my partner feel very comfortable and promised us he would take the very best care of my case. Peter kept me informed every step of the way and was always on top of things. everything was done in a timely manor and I always felt like I was the only case he was working on because he was so fast. In the end Peter got me back way more money than I ever expected. I would recommend this law firm to everyone. I am very happy with the outcome of my case thanks to the Tiemann Law Firm! Thank you!

Matt H. Testimonial
Quote

I was in a car accident a while back where I was injured and had to miss work for an extended period of time.  After nearly a year of fighting with the insurance company with no results and no progress, I met with Jelena Tiemann.  I couldn't have asked for a more responsive and supportive advocate.  We quickly reached a settlement and I finally was able to move from the stress and burden of feuding with my insurance.  I highly recommending meeting with Jelena if you're in need of a lawyer.

Star Fire Testimonial
Quote

It is hard to put into words the care and dedication that I received from the Tiemann’s. They have been here for me every step of the way and were always available when I had questions or concerns. My husband and I will be forever grateful for everything they have done for us and our family. Thank you so much for all of the hard work and time you have put into my case, we greatly appreciate it and your friendship. We highly recommend this firm and will always be thankful for everything they have done. Thank you so much again, Kim

Lendzey Garcia
Quote

I was in a very bad/ major car accident I originally had an attorney who wasn’t trying to help me out much or take any of my calls so I called Tiemann and told them my situation. They made it an AWESOME and Smooth transition over to them and took on both cases I had. I just settled on my big case and am beyond great full. For them and their team! I highly recommend them. To add on to this a little On how much they will work with you, I moved to Montana in the middle of all Of this and it was not an issue!