After Jeremy Hunt’s Department of Health established a link in 2015 between increased patient mortality rates and weekend-admissions, the HealthRead more >
Possible increased risk of clinical negligence on certain days of the week
When Am I Most At Risk of Medical Negligence?
Clinical negligence is seemingly more likely to occur in relation to operations carried out in the second half of the week. This follows the findings of a scientific study into surgical procedures and survival rates published in the British Medical Journal.
A Study of Surgical Procedures and Survival Rates
Based on a sample of 4 million procedures spanning a period between 2008 and 2011, the study examined a variety of different medical procedures ranging from high to low risk. In some 28,000 of the cases examined the patient died within 30 days of surgery.
Looking deeper at the study’s findings, we see that Mondays are statistically the safest days to undergo elective surgery, with high risk operations occurring on a Friday carrying a 44% higher risk of mortality, and low risk procedures proving 33% more dangerous. How does this tie into clinical negligence? Well, common knowledge in the medical practice indicates that serious complications arising from surgery predominantly occur within the first 48 hours; subsequently those treated at the end of the week are at their most vulnerable whilst in the care of weekend staff / facilities. Experts believe, and the pattern in differences in survival rates from one day to the next suggests, medical negligence can occur in these instances due to less experienced staff being on duty and more advanced equipment not being available at the weekend, during the critical 48 period following a procedure.
Inexperienced Staff and Medical Negligence
Pre-existing research into the circumstances surrounding clinical negligence by Imperial Healthcare London in 2009 found that mortality rates rose by 6% on the day dubbed “Black Wednesday”; the first Wednesday in August that newly qualified medical graduates begin work. This may indicate that medical negligence is, in some cases, at least partly to blame for the unnecessary suffering of some NHS patients.
Launch Your NHS Compensation Claim Today
We believe it’s essential that standards of customer care remain high throughout the week and throughout the year – clinical negligence is never acceptable. If you or a family member feel you may have been the victim of medical negligence and wish to make a NHS compensation claim, contact Blackwater Law’s specialist clinical negligence solicitors for free initial advice and information.