Whether you have fallen gravely ill or had an unfortunate accident, you rely on medical professionals to help you on the road to recovery. After all, this is what they signed up for when entering the profession. In fact, medical staff have a legal duty to provide you with the best possible care.
Doctors tend to have a busy caseload, and it is easy to sympathize with this. Nonetheless, this should not impact the level of care that patients receive. Physician burnout occurs when a doctor is simply too tired to provide the high standards of care that is required by law. Numerous studies have shown that this phenomenon leads to some dangerous and often fatal errors.
Fatigue affects judgment
Doctors have to make quick decisions, particularly in an emergency situation. To do this, they rely on their training and previous experience with similar situations. Fatigue can get in the way of a person’s thought process.
In the case of a life-threatening situation, poor medical judgment brought on by fatigue can have catastrophic consequences. For instance, a doctor may miss a symptom of a specific condition and go on to make an inaccurate diagnosis. This ultimately means that the patient does not receive the treatment that they need.
Fatigue limits physical abilities
Fatigue doesn’t only impair the cognitive processes of doctors. It can take a physical toll, too. Doctors, especially surgeons, are required to carry out very intricate procedures. A lack of energy or a twitch that results from tiredness can have potentially fatal consequences for the person on the operating table.
Doctors don’t always recognize the signs of fatigue in themselves, so it is up to the medical institution to monitor this. If you have suffered harm because a fatigued doctor treated you, then you may be able to hold all relevant parties to account legally.