If you are hearing the term "July effect" for the first time, the images that come to mind may be lazy days by the pool, the overwhelming urge to drink a margarita, or standing curbside to watch a parade. However, the truth is that the July effect has nothing to do with fun or relaxation.
The July effect is actually what hospital staff members in Virginia and across the nation have been talking about for years. It has been rumored that the month of July is the most dangerous for patients, as a higher than average patient death rate has been observed during this month.
Does the July Effect Theory Hold Water?
According to a recent study, the answer is yes. Researcher and professor of sociology, Davie Phillips, wanted to see if the July effect was legend or fact. To do so Phillips looked at approximately 250,000 medication error deaths over a nearly 30-year period.
What Phillips found was that medication errors that lead to the death of the patient did in fact spike in July, but not in all hospitals.
"And we found that this spike in July deaths from medication errors appears only in counties that have teaching hospitals," stated Phillips during an interview on NPR. "Well, inside these counties that have teaching hospitals, and inside the hospitals in these counties, medication error deaths spike by 10 percent above expected in July."
What to do About Hospital Medication Errors
While July might be the most dangerous month to be given medication in the hospital, medication errors are a threat no matter the month. In fact, medication mistakes are now the second leading type of accident in the United States.
Because of this, our Virginia Beach medical malpractice attorneys urge all hospital patients to ask anyone giving them medication to double-check the dose and the type. If you are going to be incapacitated, such as during and after a surgery, it is recommended that you have an advocate with you to do so.
While you may not want to step on anyone's toes, you have to do whatever it takes to ensure that you are not the victim of a medical mistake.
If, despite your best efforts, you have been injured by doctor error or your loved one lost his or her life because of a medical mistake, contact a Virginia Beach medical mistake lawyer today. Call 757.625.1214 to schedule a free consultation with an attorney who is ready to help defend your rights as an accident victim and get you the compensation you deserve.