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Doctor errors may occur more in afternoon in Missouri

A medical professional can make a mistake at any time of the day, which is why he or she should always be vigilant and alert. However, despite one's best efforts, a doctor can still make a mistake that causes harm to a patient in Missouri. A recently released study suggests that doctors may be more likely to make a mistake on prescriptions during the afternoon. These types of doctor errors can lead to a medical malpractice lawsuit in some cases.

Much of this has to do with stress and fatigue that medical professionals experience closer to the end of the workday, according to the researchers. The study focused on patients who had visited their doctors due to a sore throat. Usually a sore throat that is caused by an infection of group A Streptococcus (GAS) is the only time antibiotics are commonly prescribed for treatment. Only 10 percent of sore throat patients will have this type of infection present.

The study revealed that patients who visit their doctors in the afternoon as opposed to the morning had a higher chance of being over-prescribed antibiotics. This may alarm some health officials who have recently been trying to increase awareness regarding the threats of resistance to antibiotics. The study points toward the effects of stress and fatigue on the decision-making process of medical professionals.

While being over-prescribed antibiotics will not usually harm a patient, if -- instead of antibiotics -- doctors over-prescribe pain killers or other more dangerous medications due to fatigue or stress, this can result in serious problems for a patient in Missouri. Many times, these prescription errors and other doctor errors can cause harm to a patient. In some cases, the patient or the patient's family may decide to file a medical malpractice lawsuit to recover damages.

Source:, "Antibiotics Prescription Errors More Likely in Afternoon Study Finds", Tabitha Farrar, Oct. 7, 2014

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