Why patients should avoid hospitals during the afternoon

Scheduling a surgery or medical procedure can be difficult for some Missouri residents, especially if they have to work around specific schedules and family needs. However, going to the hospital to have a procedure done may be more or less dangerous depending on when the procedure is scheduled. For example, there are several reasons why it is less desirable to go to the hospital during the afternoon hours.

One reason is that workers from all industries can be affected by the 3 p.m. slump, a time when fatigue tends to set in. If a doctor or nurse experiences this fatigue, they could be more at risk of making medical mistakes. For example, the physician may be more likely to prescribe antibiotics, even if the patient does not need them. In some cases, doctors could even be less likely to detect cancer. A study of 1,000 colonoscopies found that there was a 5 percent decrease in the polyp detection rate as each hour passed.

Another reason some patients may want to avoid the hospital during the afternoon is the shift change. If a patient is scheduling a surgery during the afternoon, it is not uncommon for a team to start the surgery and another team to finish it. While the main surgeon usually stays, the anesthesiologist may change.

Even though it is known that medical mistakes may be more likely to occur during the afternoon, patients should still be able to expect the best care possible. If negligence results in medical errors, such as preventable complications, an attorney may investigate the allegations. If malpractice occurred, the attorney may file a lawsuit against the hospital and medical staff members who may have been involved.

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