Most patients place high amounts of trust in their doctors, particularly when the patient goes under anesthesia for a procedure. However, doctors and other healthcare professionals are human and can make mistakes just like members of any other profession. Unfortunately, in the healthcare field, these errors may cause harm or even death to a patient and can lead to medical malpractice cases.
What are some causes of medical errors for Massachusetts doctors?
Fatigue is a well-known factor in things such as poor decision-making and shorter reaction times. Being tired can cause a surgeon to be more likely to overlook a procedure in the operating room. Fatigue may also make them slower to react should something go wrong during surgery.
When hospitals are short-staffed, doctors and nurses have to see more patients. This additional workload adds stress which can ultimately lead to making an error. There is also a greater chance of paperwork getting mixed up when caseloads are higher.
Miscommunication between doctors, nurses, and other medical staff is another potential cause of medical errors. Critical information can get lost during a shift change when the staff tending to patients adjusts. Communication problems can also occur between healthcare workers and patients. For example, a patient may not give their physician all of the information required for the physician to make the correct diagnosis.
By being aware of some of the causes of errors in healthcare, patients can watch out for signs that an error is more likely.