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When is it safest to undergo a surgical procedure?

| Jun 5, 2020 | Surgical Errors |

American College of Surgeons data shows that the average person in this country undergoes just over nine surgeries during their lifetime. Many patients follow their doctor’s recommendations and never get a second opinion. Patients also allow schedulers to decide when and where an operation is going to take place. These individuals do a disservice to themselves when they allow others to make decisions for them.

You might have heard someone tell you that you should always opt for a morning surgery if you can. Have you ever wondered what’s the reason behind that recommendation, though? It has to do with your body’s natural rhythms.

A Cable News Network (CNN) research study reveals that your body starts to have difficulty staying awake, starting at about 3 p.m. This fatigue generally lasts for two hours once it starts. Duke University researchers recently studied surgical outcomes. They found that surgeries that begin during this time frame leave patients with more pain, nausea or vomiting post-op that others. Anesthesia-related concerns go up to 4.2% at 4 p.m. versus only 1% at 9 a.m.

The Duke researchers determined that one of the best times that a patient can undergo surgery is right at the beginning of a surgeon, anesthesiologist or nurse’s shift. These health care providers generally start working between 6:30 and 7 a.m. These medical team members often get off work at around 3 p.m. If your surgical procedure is particularly lengthy, then your nurses may get switched. If they fail to communicate with one another, then some medical errors may occur.

Duke researchers discovered that post-op complications are highest during July, or the month most medical residents start making rounds. The researchers also determined that patients who undergo surgeries on weekends don’t receive the level of care that they expect due to understaffing.

Medical errors can happen for a variety of reasons. A surgeon may be tired. Your health care team may not perform the appropriate time-out procedure to ensure that they’re operating on the right patient or body part. Your Portland health providers may also not communicate well with one another. An attorney can review the details surrounding your case and let you know if you may qualify to file an Oregon legal case.

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