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Do Surgeons Make More Errors on Their Birthdays?

Do Surgeons Make More Errors on Their Birthdays?

Surgical mistakes can be harmful to patients, often resulting in preventable complications, the need for future surgeries, or even death. There are many reasons why such errors happen in the operating room, including a lack of communication between surgical teams, fatigue, carelessness, and more.

Distraction is also a common cause of surgical mistakes, and this includes distractions due to personal events in the surgeon’s life. A recent study examined whether surgical outcome may be affected by performance of the surgery on the surgeon’s birthday.

The Findings

Researchers evaluated the 30-day mortality of patients with similar characteristics, some of whom underwent surgery performed on the surgeon’s birthday. Out of 978,812 surgeries, 2,064 were on the surgeon’s birthday, and the following was discovered:

While the numbers seem close, there was, in fact, a greater risk of patient death following a procedure on the surgeon’s birthday.

Distracted Surgeons

When operating on their birthdays, surgeons might have their minds wander, thinking about plans later that evening, parties, and other upcoming celebratory events. There are also many other life events and factors that can distract a surgeon, including:

When a surgeon is distracted, both their own performance and their leadership of the surgical team can be affected. This can result in major errors, such as:

The above can lead to additional medical problems for the patient, who might need additional hospitalization, subsequent surgeries, and longer recovery time. This can significantly increase medical costs, time away from work and lost income, and more.

Financial Recovery After Surgical Errors

Many surgical errors rise to the level of medical malpractice, which means the surgeon did not provide the standard of care expected of surgeons in that specialty and situation. When such errors result in significant injury, the patient may file a medical malpractice claim to make up for all the resulting harms and losses. In such situations, it is critical to have an experienced medical malpractice attorney evaluate the cause of the surgical injuries and take legal action if appropriate.

If you have suffered a serious injury from surgical negligence, your attorney can investigate the matter and file suit to obtain compensation for all of your losses, which include medical costs, pain and suffering, lost wages, permanent impairment, and more.

Let Our Skilled Ohio Medical Malpractice Attorneys Help You

The Eisen Law Firm handles complex injury claims stemming from surgical errors. Regardless of when the surgical error occurred, we’d like to make sure your next birthday is a happy one. Contact us online or call 216-687-0900 to discuss how our Ohio medical malpractice lawyers can assist in your situation.