The Law Offices of John Phebus

New study raises questions about surgery and sleep deprivation

Arizona patients may be interested in a new study in which the authors claim that there is no significant risk increase for surgery when the doctor has not slept the night before the procedure. The study's findings are contradictory with other research, a fact that has been pointed out by the author of a similar study from 2009.

The more recent study was completed by researchers at the University of Toronto. They found that people who had undergone procedures by doctors who had performed surgeries between 12 a.m. and 7 a.m. that day had a 22.2 percent chance of having problems, while those who had surgery by doctors who had gotten sleep the night before had a 22.4 percent chance.

The researchers involved in the 2009 study pointed out that the current study failed to look at the amount of sleep the doctors actually had, a flaw that they believe skewed the results. In the 2009 study, which was published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, the researchers found a three times greater risk for undergoing surgery in the early morning hours when actual hours of sleep were taken into account. The studies have been conducted in order to help determine whether physicians should disclose to their patients when they have not gotten sleep in advance of scheduled surgeries.

Many people are seriously injured due to negligence on the part of physicians and other medical staff. A person who has had surgery when the doctor has not gotten enough sleep and is then injured as a result may want to speak with an attorney about the advisability of filing a medical professional negligence lawsuit. Damages often sought include the costs of further necessary medical treatment, lost wages and other applicable amounts.

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