A possible connection between tired patients and lawsuits

Medical malpractice incidents can have long-lasting and dangerous side effects on patients. Depending on the severity of the incident, victims of malpractice may suffer unnecessary pain, the financial burden resulting from extended care and even chronic illness as a result of the trauma they endured. While these extreme incidents may not seem common in California, they do happen and attention is often focused on health care professionals and what they should be doing to prevent future incidents. 

However, a recent study performed by Rice University and Baylor University took a different approach when they looked at the link between medical malpractice lawsuits and the lack of sleep in patients being treated in hospitals. The study involved 44 persons being given a survey about various aspects related to medical malpractice. Each of these adults had slept for 7 hours and were used to sleeping for that period of time. During the second portion of the study, only half of the participants maintained their regular sleep patterns with the other half being asked to sleep less than 6 hours each night. They all completed the survey a second time and the findings suggested that those who were sleep deprived were more likely to have stronger opinions about cases of medical malpractice. 

The goal of the study was to shed light on how a patient's inability to sleep properly or restfully while staying in the hospital may contribute to his or her opinions about the medical care that was received. Because hospitals are a less-than-ideal setting for people to get a good night's sleep, the researchers were hopeful that the results of their study would encourage solutions to be found that could potentially lessen the risks of sleep deprivation among patients in the future. 

If people have been injured in a case of medical malpractice, they may be facing a long road to prove that their injuries were caused at the hands of their health care provider. An attorney can help to organize evidence and create a factual case that will highlight why a victim should be given compensation. 

Source: Medical Xpress, "Does sleep deprivation promote medical malpractice lawsuits," Rice University, Mar. 27, 2019

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