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How do other patients increase the risk of medical error?

On Behalf of | Feb 15, 2022 | Medical Malpractice

You may have preconceptions before entering a hospital for surgery. Perhaps you imagine an experienced surgeon, a picture of calm with classical music playing gently in the background. To their side, a team of smiling and efficient assistants, anticipating the surgeon’s every need.

It may be a long way from the truth. Hospital environments can be chaotic, with surgeons and other staff under intense pressure from all sides. Nurses may wheel you into the room, only to wheel you out again as the surgeon is called away to make a life-saving operation. The nurses may have been on duty all night and be exhausted from weeks of covering for staff off sick. As for classical music, the soundtrack to your surgery is more likely to be mobile phones ringing, machines beeping and the chatter of people desperately trying to cope with the demands of all the other patients.

Hospitals are understaffed

Hospitals have always been a high-pressure environment, yet staff shortages increase the demands on working staff. Surgical operations can be tricky enough when the doctors and nurses can give you their full attention. Yet other patients also need them and take a portion of their attention and time that you might hope was reserved for you alone.

The more distractions, be it a call telling them to hurry up and finish your surgery because they are needed elsewhere or a request for information about someone they operated on earlier, the greater the chance they make an error when dealing with you.

If you suffer harm during surgery, you cannot blame the other patients. They have as much right to medical attention as you. However, you may be able to claim medical negligence against the staff that made a mistake or the hospital itself. They have a duty to give you the attention and care you deserve.