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Fatigue plagues many healthcare professionals, poses risks

Miami residents care about their health. So, when they feel sick or need a checkup, these individuals go to a trusted medical professional. Placing their own well-being in the professional's hands, Miami residents expect the professional to accurately diagnose and treat any ailments that exist. While it may sound easy, performing these healthcare tasks is quite difficult, requiring full attention, clear thinking, and excellent problem-solving skills. Sadly, not all medical professionals are able to give 100 percent on the job because they are fatigued.

According to a conducted in March 2013, 69 percent of healthcare professionals said they felt fatigue negatively affected their ability to perform their job duties. Additionally, 65 percent stated they nearly made a medical error because of their fatigue. With nurses oftentimes working 12-hour shifts, and sometimes working two or three shifts back-to-back, patients may be put at serious risk of harm.

Though the Nurse Fatigue Professional Issues Panel is attempting to raise awareness of the issue and find solutions to the fatigue problem, medical errors directly linked to fatigue will likely continue for the foreseeable future. These hospital mistakes may take many forms, including medication, surgical and diagnostic errors.

When a hospital mistake leaves an individual injured, she could suffer physically, emotionally and financially. Her medical condition may be worsened, leading to extreme pain and the need for costly medical care. In some instances, patients die as a result of medical malpractice.

In an attempt to recover damages suffered as a result of hospital negligence, a victim may choose to file a lawsuit. The ability to recover compensation is dependent upon the victim's ability to show negligence on the medical professional's behalf and causation, meaning the negligence caused the victim's injuries. A Miami medical malpractice attorney can be pivotal in these cases, aggressively fighting to recover the compensation the victim needs and deserves to get her life back on track.

Source: Oncology Nurse Advisor, "Nurse fatigue gets a wake-up call," Marie-Elena Barry, Dec. 18, 2013

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