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Never Have Surgery on Your Surgeon’s Birthday: It Could Be Deadly

A new study shows the mortality rate is higher on a surgeon’s birthday, suggesting they are thinking about everything but your operation. Medical malpractice is more common than we think, ranking third as the leading cause of death in the United States. Mancini & Associates are here to help. The dedicated team of lawyers at Mancini & Associates know a surgeon’s slip of the wrist can be devastating, even deadly. If you or a loved one has suffered because of a surgeon’s negligence, you need a medical malpractice attorney in California. You need Mancini & Associates.

Patient Deaths Linked to Surgeon’s Birthday

The Citadel released a study in December 2020 that found a deadly association between surgeon’s birthdays and patient mortality. The data collected using patients who died within 30 days of their surgery and sought to explain why. The study found that:

  • The average mortality rate for a patient after surgery was 5.6% on regular calendar days
  • On the surgeon’s birthday, however, mortality jumped to 7%
    • These percentages have been adjusted for patient characteristics.

The conclusion of the study holds that a surgeon may be distracted by life events on their birthday. Those events may be distracting in the operating room itself or change the standard postoperative procedures. For example,

  • The surgeon may feel rushed and under time pressure to make it to a birthday celebration.
  • The surgeon may be distracted by other members of the operating team wishing them a Happy Birthday.
  • They also may be distracted by the increase in messages compared to other days.
  • Surgeons may allow trainees to do a greater share of the operation so they can leave early.
  • Lastly, postoperative care decisions could differ on a surgeon’s birthday. If a surgeon routinely checks on a patient within the first few hours after surgery, they may catch signs of deterioration a less trained staff member may not see. However, suppose a surgeon is busy with a family dinner or other birthday celebration. In that case, they may miss the signs of deterioration until the following day having deadly consequences for the patient.

Medical Malpractice is the Third-Leading Cause of Fatalities in America

The National Practitioner Data Bank tracks medical malpractice and adverse actions in the medical field. Over the last ten years, mortality rates have steadily risen. Surgical errors top the list for deadly medical malpractice. On average,

  • 250,000 people are killed due to an error in their medical treatment every year.
  • Despite the numbers, only 2% file a medical malpractice claim.
  • Of that 2%, the average medical malpractice payout was $309,908
  • Dental Hygienists and assistants have the lowest amount of medical errors
  • Physicians (MD) have the most claims filed against them.
  • Between 2009-2019, there were 85,000 claims filed against Physicians.

Don’t Be A Silent Statistic

If you suspect you or a loved one is the victim of a surgeon’s negligence, you deserve to be heard. Mancini & Associates can give you a voice. When you need a medical malpractice attorney in California, call Mancini & Associates. Contact us on our website for a free consultation by clicking here or calling us at 818-783-5757.


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