Is Medical Transport Creating More Risk Than Benefit?
In the medical profession, the topic of fatigue is not a new one… From seemingly impossible physician shifts to emergency response and everything in between. Our brave medical professionals are often dealt difficult hands. It is up to the healthcare facility, medical organization or company to provide ample staffing and sufficient time between shifts. Regulating and limiting the amount of hours that can be worked is essential, especially in health care for emergency responders, physicians, nurses, transport and more.
Take just a moment to remember the last time you were completely and utterly exhausted. The feeling of exhaustion is unlike any other. We don’t think clearly, our coordination is poor and above all else – fighting sleep can be nearly impossible.
Ambulance Driver Fatigue
In recent Ohio news, some of our most established third party ambulance services have been called into the headlines, and for all of the wrong reasons.
Private ambulance services can be used for a variety of reasons. They are available for hire by the public, contract with hospitals, nursing facilities and more – We entrust our care, or our loved ones care to them to transport us safely.
Recent stories have surfaced claiming lengthy work shifts of 50+ hour “days” resulting in deadly consequences. Getting behind the wheel of an ambulance after days without sleep seems to be nonsensical, but for many ambulance drivers, they claim their employers demand it.
The Deadly Consequences of Driving While Drowsy
In the last 4 years, 8 people have died in ambulance accidents across Ohio. One such case was a Cleveland resident and paraplegic, Mr. Michael Wills. Mr. Wills was in transport to a Columbus hospital, a routine outing after spending over 30 years in his wheelchair. The ambulance he was riding in crashed as a result of the driver being distracted, killing Mr. Wills on scene.
While many companies mandate schedules and have proper measures in place on paper, the consensus is that profits reign supreme and the demands are still dangerous. Some private ambulance services have demanding schedules, young, inexperienced drivers on staff, or simply lack safety training and reinforcement. While fatigue management strategies and safe driving initiatives may be deployed at conferences and in training – It clearly is just not enough.
If you or a loved one has been injured in an ambulance related accident, you must call my offices immediately. As an experienced Ohio accident and negligence attorney, I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.