The month of July is typically known as a time of fireworks, ice cream, and sandcastles on the beach. But startling new research suggests that the mid-summer month also has a more sinister reputation. The LA Times recently reported of a new study out of the University of California San Diego that July marks the riskiest time of the year seek medical care at some hospitals throughout the country.
In what many experts term the “July Effect” medical errors increase in all hospitals that are used as teaching facilities because it is this month that new, inexperienced residents are first introduced into the hospital. The research found that fatal medical mistakes spike nearly 10% in July as compared to all other months of the year. The increase in preventable deaths occurs in hospitals that are used as teaching institutions.
The researchers suggested that the findings lead even more support to the idea that the responsibilities of new medical residents need to be reevaluated and their supervision should be increased. With life and death literally hanging in the balance, it would be hard to find anyone disagreeing with their assessment.
Interestingly, medical education reforms along those lines were recently proposed by the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education. The new rules would limit the number of hours that inexperienced medical residents could work and ensure that proper supervision was provided for these new doctors. The new rules were pursued as studies continue to pour out which confirm that new medical residents are responsible for over 50% of the medical errors, leading to severe harm to the patients in their care.
While it may be impossible to avoid seeking medical help in the month of July, no one should have to sacrifice the medical care they receive. Our Chicago medical malpractice attorneys at Levin & Perconti are tireless advocates for the rights of patients to be free of medical negligence. We have won numerous multi-million dollar settlements and verdicts for patients who were victims of inexperienced medical professionals. If you or someone you know may have experience medical negligence this month, or any month, be sure to contact an attorney immediately.