When it comes to complications that can arise out of a surgical procedure, they can occur for a number of reasons. It may be the first time that the operation is ever being performed or that the surgeon is trying out a new technique. The surgeon may be tired or under stress either at home or in the workplace. You may have also simply scheduled your surgery too late in the day.
A recent study, conducted by University of Michigan researchers, involved them analyzing data for 15,807 patients who had neurosurgery performed over the course of seven years starting in 2007. In that window of time, 785 died from complications after being operated on by one of the university-run medical center's residents or faculty neurosurgeons.
In combing through those records some more, the researchers were able to determine that many of those complications could be attributed, at least in part, to the time of the day in which the surgical procedure commenced. In fact, researchers were able to determine that the risk of complication was at least 50 percent higher when surgeries were initiated after 9 p.m., up until just before 7 a.m., as opposed to any other times of the day.
Complications appeared to be most severe in the case of emergency surgeries as opposed to elective ones. The researchers note that while elective procedures peter out as the day progresses, the rate of emergency ones increases significantly. They suggested that this might explain why there may be an increase in surgical complications during night hours.
Additionally, the researchers found that older, and perhaps more delicate, patients were often scheduled for earlier appointments, whereas younger ones were scheduled at later times during the day.
The researchers were unable to rule out that surgical complications may have resulted from procedures being performed later, once the surgeons had already started feeling fatigued.
They also couldn't discount the fact that physicians and nursing staff left to tend to patients at night are often less experienced than their daytime counterparts. They argue that this may give way to them making significantly more errors.
If you've suffered significant complications as a result of some type of surgical error, then a Los Lunas medical malpractice attorney can advise you of your right to sue your negligent medical caregivers.