Illinois patients who opt to have elective surgery often do so knowing the risks that are associated with their procedures and their expected outcomes. One thing few elective patients understand is that the time in which they undergo their surgery may have a significant impact on their chances of dying in connection with their procedure. A Chicago medical errors attorney knows that as the weekend approaches, medical errors often start to rise.
Clear study results
The Huffington Post reports that a recent study published in the British Medical Journal shows that patients who have elective surgery on the weekends have a higher risk of death than those performed on weekdays. Researchers from the School of Public Health at Imperial College London performed the study using data from 4 million elective surgical procedures. The surgeries took place between 2008 and 2011 in England. Of the records examined, 27,582 deaths occurred within 30 days of surgery. A Chicago medical errors attorney understands that many of these deaths could have been avoided with proper care.
Researchers found that as the day of patients’ surgeries neared the end of the week, their risk of death also increased. Patients who underwent surgery on Fridays saw a 44 percent increase in mortality over those who were treated on Mondays. When patients’ surgeries occurred on Saturdays or Sundays, they were 82 percent more likely to die within 30 days. Researchers noted that patients may be more likely to have a positive outcome if they wait to schedule their surgeries on a weekday.
As the year draws to a close, many patients have finally met their insurance deductibles. This leads a large number of individuals to seek treatment that they have been putting off all year due to the financial ramifications it may cause them and their families. Healthcare workers often work nights and weekends to fill the demand, which may cause them to become fatigued more easily. When healthcare professionals are fatigued, their chances of making medical mistakes significantly increases.
Preparations for elective surgery
While there is no way to avoid risk in elective surgeries due to their nature, patients do have the ability to reduce their chances of being injured by medical errors. Prior to undergoing elective surgery, every patient should take specific precautions to ensure that they have the greatest chance of a positive outcome. Choosing the best doctor and hospital are paramount. Patients should look for doctors and hospitals that are well-known for treating their conditions. Additionally, hospitals should be accredited by the Joint Commission to prove that staff are following the most up-to-date safety recommendations.
Patients and the families of the fatally injured may be able to receive compensation for the damages they sustained in surgery. Those who would like to know more about the claims process should contact a Chicago medical errors attorney immediately due to potential statute limitations.