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When not to have surgery

People in Colorado who are considering having a surgery might benefit from considering what time of year it is before they go in for their surgeries. In ancient medical-astrology, doctors planned certain surgeries around the lunar cycles. Even though doctors don't necessarily plan around lunar cycles today, timing may still be relevant.

Patients who are hospitalized with emergencies on holidays are reportedly 48 percent more likely to be dead within a week because of a surgical error than people who are admitted on non-holidays. Aside from holidays, some reports even show that with each hour that passes a gastroenterologist is 4.6 percent less likely to detect a colon polyp. Furthermore, a study at the Duke University Medical Center revealed that the likelihood of errors caused by anesthesia rose from 1 percent to 4.2 percent by 4 p.m., perhaps because surgeons began to tire.

According to research conducted by John Hopkins University, a higher rate of complications arises in July surgeries because that is when graduating medical students begin working as residents. This could suggest that new surgeons increase the likelihood of surgical errors. However, there are other studies that show that the rates are no higher in July than the rest of the year.

There are even some times that are more ideal for women to give birth than others. For instance, women giving birth at night are subject to a 25 percent greater risk of neonatal death, according to a California study. Additionally, according to one economist, more woman may be subject to unplanned C-sections between 3 p.m. and 9 p.m. on Fridays, perhaps because of doctor attempts to wrap operations up quickly.

People who have undergone surgeries and experienced complications because of them could decide to file medical malpractice lawsuits. Medical malpractice lawyers might be able to help claimants prepare their claims and negotiate settlements.

Source: The Atlantic, "The worst time to have surgery", James Hamblin, June 19, 2013

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