Doctors and nurses work long hours at physically and mentally demanding jobs, and, of course, they have outside lives. They may have sleepless nights, crying children, demanding pets, social obligations, and other commitments that interfere with their rest hours. Some of them work nights or atypical hours, which can interfere with their body’s natural sleep patterns.
As a patient, none of this is your problem unless you are one of the people whose medical care is delayed because of a medical provider’s fatigue.
Exhaustion Causes Mistakes
Medical providers’ mental and physical exhaustion can cause dangerous mistakes, including delayed patient care. For example, a tired nurse could:
- Forget to advise a patient about follow-up care
- Fail to provide a patient with the right medication in a timely manner
- Fail to monitor a patient appropriately and notify a doctor of a medical change
To try to prevent these types of errors, the American Nurses Association recognizes that registered nurses have an ethical responsibility to consider fatigue when accepting overtime assignments.
Nurses aren’t the only ones responsible for injuries caused by fatigue, however. Hospitals also have a responsibility to prevent fatigue. A hospital could be liable for a fatigue-related mistake if it encouraged or demanded overtime shifts or failed to have policies in place for medical staff to safely self-report fatigue
Did Medical Provider Fatigue Hurt You?
You may know pretty quickly that a delay in medical care hurt you, but you may not know why. A full investigation will need to be done to find out what caused the unreasonable delay in medical care and your resulting physical injury. This type of investigation can be challenging to do on your own. However, our experienced medical malpractice lawyers know what questions to ask and what documents to request to find out exactly what happened to you.
If you were hurt by an emergency room doctor or nurse’s fatigue, you may have the right to recover damages for the injuries you suffered. Contact Gray & White today for a free consultation and to find out how we can fight for your financial future.