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The worst month, day and hour to have surgery

People in Wisconsin contemplating going in for a surgery might be interested to hear that there are certain months, days, and times when their risk of encountering medical errors may be higher. Traditionally, people used to plan surgeries around lunar cycles, and while that is not necessarily how surgeries are planned nowadays, the calendar may still play a part in the worst times to have surgeries.

One popular lore is that people should avoid having surgeries in July if they can. The reason for that is because graduating medical students begin working as residents on July 1st. Some people believe that rookie surgeons can lead to more medical malpractice errors than more experienced surgeons. A study conducted by John Hopkins researchers seemed to show that more complications and deaths occurred for spinal metastases surgeries in July than other months. Yet, other studies suggested no difference in errors in the month of July.

Other statistics show that people who go in for emergency surgeries on holidays are more likely to be dead a week later than those who don't go in on holidays. Additionally, some studies suggest that with each hour that passes, people become more susceptible to doctor errors. For example, a study conducted at Duke University Medical Center showed that anesthesia errors increased as the day went along. Some people suggest that this is because doctors tend to tire over the day.

Regardless of the reason for the error, if people begin experiencing complications after their surgeries, they could decide to file medical malpractice lawsuits against the surgeons and institutions that performed their surgeries. If won, medical malpractice lawsuits can offer people compensation for their conditions that were caused or made worse by the negligence of a doctor. Attorneys might be able to assist people in filing such claims.

Source: The Atlantic, "The Worst Time to Have Surgery", James Hamblin, June 19, 2013

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