Study shows medical errors may be linked to cellphone distraction

When Connecticut residents are suffering from an illness, condition or injury and visit a doctor or medical professional, they have a right to expect proper care and treatment. However, it is an unfortunate reality that medical errors happen frequently. These can cause a person’s medical issues to get worse. It can even create new ones that lead to long-term health challenges and death. There are many ways in which medical mistakes can happen. One that might sound unusual, but is thoroughly understandable in today’s world of high-tech, is medical professionals who are distracted by their cellphones.

Recently, JAMA Pediatrics released a study that showed distracted medical professionals can have a negative impact on patients. Researchers followed nurses who were on duty in pediatric intensive care. There were 257 nurses and more than 3,300 patients. Around 50% of the nurses got a call on their cellphones 10 minutes before they were set to dispense medication to patients. Distracted nurses made an error 3.7 percent of the time. That was significantly worse than the rate for those who were not distracted at 3.1 percent.

Shifts, experience levels, how many nurses there were for every patient, and the amount of care that was needed were all factored in. Errors were more common for those working the night shift. Nurses who had worked in the pediatric ICU also had a higher propensity to making mistakes. If there were multiple patients and a patient was on a ventilator or had an arterial catheter, mistakes were also common. Those receiving messages on their devices did not have a higher rate of error. People who heard notification sounds for social media did have more errors.

Being distracted by a device is often considered to be a dangerous act when people are driving. This research indicates that these distractions can have life-altering consequences in myriad other areas, especially the medical field. When there has been a medical mistake of any kind and people have suffered a worsened condition, had a misdiagnosis or faced other problems, evidence can be critical. A law firm with experience in medical malpractice cases may be able to help with a legal filing and securing compensation.