Medical mistakes can happen for a variety of reasons: a patient could not be properly monitored while at the hospital, there could be a communication error between nurses and doctors, staff could not be up to par on training. If all those aren't scary enough reasons, a recent study found that some surgeons may have alcohol dependency issues which impacts their ability to properly practice medicine.
According to a study that was recently published in the Archives of Surgery, out of the 7,197 surgeons who answered a survey regarding their mood, lifestyle and work, 1,112 met the criteria of a person with an alcohol dependency issue. This equates to slightly more than 15 percent of those who participated in the survey having potential alcohol abuse problems.
And while this is certainly not a huge pool of respondents to gather data from, the truth is that more than 25,000 surgeons were actually included in the survey. However, the majority chose not to answer the questions.
"Surgeons who drink more heavily are potentially less likely to respond, which might underestimate the prevalence of alcohol abuse," according to one professor of surgery and a member of the Journal of the American Medical Association who wrote an editorial to accompany the published study.
While the lead author of the study did take time to note that it is still very rare for a person to be injured due to a surgeon being intoxicated, an earlier study that was published in April found a connection between excessive drinking and medical errors.
That earlier study looked at eight surgeons and 16 medical students and found that those who were hung-over from a previous night of drinking made 19 errors on a virtual reality procedure conducted in a safe lab setting. Those who did not consume alcohol the previous night only made eight errors on the virtual reality procedure.
If a doctor does something that is not in accordance with the requisite standard of care then that doctor has engaged in medical malpractice. If you or some you know has become sick or injured because of a doctor falling below the required standard of care, you need the help of a St. Louis injury attorney experienced in medical malpractice to help protect your rights and recover damages for your injury. Contact med mal attorney Ben Sansone today for a free initial consultation at (314) 863-0500.
Source: "Survey Reveals that 15% of Surgeons have Alcohol Dependency," by Christine Hsu, published at MedicalDaily.com.
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