Medical Errors Go Up When Your Surgeon Reports To Work After A Night Of Drinking

It’s obvious that a surgeon under the influence of alcohol will be more prone to mistakes in the operating room, but what about a surgeon who had overindulged the night before? A new study has found that doctors who drink the evening before performing surgeries were significantly more likely to make mistakes during operations throughout the day.

In the study, eight doctors were asked to drink until they felt intoxicated during a dinner party. The next day, they were asked to perform virtual surgeries throughout the morning and afternoon. A significant number of doctors made more mistakes when hungover as late as one in the afternoon. In another part of the study, one group of surgery trainees was asked to overindulge at a dinner party when another control group did not imbibe alcohol. Researchers found the same results again: those who had been drunk the night before did not perform nearly as week the next day.

What can we learn from this study? Researchers say that although we can’t assume that surgeons will commit more medical errors the day after a drinking binge, we can say that drinking the night before an operation is probably not a good idea for medical professionals. While some believe that this research should result in new regulations that ban doctors from surgery on the day after drinking, others believe that this new knowledge should simply make doctors more aware of when they decide to drink and when they should abstain.

Have you or a loved one been a victim of a surgical error? Speak with a Indiana medical malpractice attorney today.
James R. Keller
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