A medical mistake can happen at any time of the year. A healthcare provider’s careless or reckless treatment is not tied to a specific season. Yet, according to a recent study reported in The New York Times, medical errors may be more likely to occur in the week following the spring time shift to Daylight Saving Time. Indeed, data compiled by the Mayo Clinic Health System on “patient safety-related incidents caused by defective systems, equipment failure, or human error” allowed researchers to investigate the relationship between doctors’ mistakes and Daylight Saving Time.

Daylight Saving Time Can Be Dangerous 

Daylight Saving Time has been in use for decades, but it can be a dangerous time of the year. To be sure, in the days and weeks that follow the shift to Daylight Saving Time, more accidents happen and more personal injuries are reported. It is not just in the medical field—researchers routinely report more serious car crashes in the days following the clocks “springing ahead,” as we know the time shift, and more accidents can happen at workplaces in general. Accordingly, it should not be too surprising to learn that doctors and other healthcare providers are more likely to make mistakes during this time of the year. The study relied on eight years of data from the Mayo Clinic Health System and was published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine.

Why is Daylight Saving Time dangerous? In short, people lose an hour of sleep. While it might not seem like so much, losing an hour of sleep can have significant consequences. The new study showed that medical injuries caused by human error increased by nearly 19% in the week after the Daylight Saving Time shift, and “most of the errors involved medications, administering either the wrong dose or the wrong drug,” according to The New York Times.

Healthcare Providers are Liable Even During Daylight Saving Time 

Just because the loss of an hour causes accidents and mistakes across industries does not mean that a healthcare provider is not liable for injuries that occur during this time period. To be clear, you can certainly be eligible to file a successful medical malpractice claim arising out of an incident in the week following the move to Daylight Saving Time.

According to the lead author of the study, Dr. Bhanu Prakash Kolla, the research should be an indication that we need to do away with Daylight Saving Time. As Dr. Kolla clarified, “we’ve fallen into a pattern with this change of clocks,” but “I don’t see an upside to it.”

Get in Touch with Me Today for Help with Your Medical Malpractice Lawsuit

Medical mistakes are never acceptable, yet they occur more often than any of us wants to consider. Whether you suffered a serious injury because of a medical error that occurred shortly after a shift to Daylight Saving Time or your injury occurred at another time of the year, I can help you to seek financial compensation through a medical malpractice claim. It is critical to hold healthcare providers accountable for the harm they have caused. I’ll Make Them Pay!® Call me today at 877.944.4373 to learn more about filing a medical malpractice lawsuit in Ohio.

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