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Studies suggest medical malpractice increases in the afternoon

Workers seem to exhibit a decrease in alertness and productivity in the afternoon hours after lunch. While this does not pose a serious problem for many professions; for patients, afternoon sluggishness could result in critical mistakes. South Carolina residents who are preparing for a routine procedure are encouraged to schedule it for earlier in the day to reduce the chance of becoming a medical malpractice victim.

Studies conducted by various institutions revealed that attention to details and job performance tends to slip as care providers near the end of their working shift. Researchers at Duke University reviewed approximately 90,000 surgical records and discovered there was an increase in the chances of a serious mistake on the part of anesthesiologists in the hour between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m. In addition, a change in shifts usually occurs in the mid-afternoon. If the anesthesiologist fails to convey important information to the incoming shift, it could result in serious consequences. Likewise, important members of the team could rotate out, leading to a possible error.

Other studies show a correlation between the unnecessary prescribing of medications during the afternoon hours. Tired doctors may be less inclined to look for the cause of symptoms and may add medications that are not indicated. In addition, it was discovered that some cancer detection rates fall in the afternoon hours, which could lead to a patient suffering serious consequences.

Lastly, it appears that care providers -- including nursing staff -- are less likely to practice proper hygiene protocols as the afternoon progresses, which may lead to an increased risk in infections. Overall, the vast majority of medical providers practice diligence when attending to the needs of their patients. However, regardless of the time of day, a mistake can have serious and long-lasting consequences on a patient's health. South Carolina residents who have been harmed through a provider's actions may have a basis for filing a medical malpractice civil suit. 

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