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Medical Residents Lack Sleep Despite Policy Changes

USAToday reports that despite a change in policy in 2003 that reduced the number of hours a resident could work in one shift from 30 to 24 and reducing the number of hours a week a resident could work from 100 to 80 medical residents, there has been no change in the number of mistakes.  Doctors had hoped that a reduction in hours would prevent residents from making life-threatening medical errors and keep sleepy doctors from falling asleep at the wheel.  However, there are still an average of 1.5 mistakes made by residents for every 100 orders given. Residents had just as many needle sticks and car accidents after the policy change.  20% of the residents met the criteria for depression.   This article was published in USA Today.

By having exhausted residents involved in the care of patients, hospitals are creating a dangerous situation not only for the patients in the hospital, but for the public at large.  As noted above, residents continue to make life-threatening mistakes in caring for patients. Moreover, these exhausted doctors leave work after no sleep for well over 24 hours and get in their cars and cause car accidents which injure people.  This out dated, inefficient method of training doctors need to be changed in order to protect patients and the public at large.

If you think you may have been the victim of a medical error or malpractice due to an exhausted resident or other hospital employee,  please call us directly at 412-471-4300 or click here.  Our lawyers and doctors specialize in medical malpractice cases.