Statistics About Malpractice and Sleep Loss

Statistics About Malpractice and Sleep Loss

Among all of the problems facing modern medicine, the training and scheduling of doctors may be one of the most serious. As physicians pushed into treating may not have been properly trained, they may prescribe a dangerous treatment or fail to act fast enough. With the grueling schedules that some medical professionals have, even prepared doctors may lose sleep to such a great degree that they make major mistakes without noticing their mishaps. Healthcare institutions, in this way, can produce extremely dangerous situations due to sleep deprivation.

On-call shifts, often assigned two days out of every week to first-year residents, create scheduling disasters. These shifts consist of constant work, not providing any time for sleep. On average, first-year residents noted that 56.9 hours every week were spent in on-call shifts. For a sizable minority, roughly 25 percent, these shifts dominated 80 hours each week. Over such periods, healthcare students may spend over 23 hours straight on one shift.

Hospitals often ask their first-year residents to work potentially unsafe shifts. For first-year workers, the average maximum shift reached 37.6 hours. For any matter of comparison, labor laws often frame the average work day for a blue-collar worker at 8 hours per day. At 37.6 hours, the human brain undoubtedly goes through some of the major symptoms of sleep deprivation. Judgment and thinking becomes impaired, and yet these student doctors still treat patients.

On average, the majority of first-year student doctors experience sleep deprivation regularly. For a small minority, measuring roughly 10 percent, this experience characterized their work on practically a daily basis.