Study Confirms: Do Not Get Sick in July

May 19th, 2015 at 7:00 am

sick in july, Westport Medical Malpractice AttorneyThe “July effect” is a well-known term among medical professionals that most non-medical people have never heard. The July effect, also called the July phenomenon, gets its name because it is in the month of July when just-graduated medical students enter their internships in teaching hospitals across the country. It is this influx of new, inexperienced “physicians” which causes a real and documented increase in the danger to patients, particularly high-risk patients.

A study conducted by researchers from Harvard Medical School, Stanford University Hospitals, University of Southern California, and the RAND Corporation concluded that the July effect does pose a serious threat to patients with medical conditions where even the slightest delay in treatment can mean a matter of life or death.

The researchers used data collected from the U.S. Nationwide Inpatient Sample. They analyzed cases from more than 1,400 hospitals across the country where patients arrived at the hospital suffering from heart attacks. Cases were divided into low-risk and high-risk groups, and came from both teaching and non-teaching hospitals.

The study found that in general, patients who were treated at teaching hospitals actually had a lower risk of mortality than patients who were treated at non-teaching hospitals—except during the month of July. In July, the risk of dying from a heart attack jumped from 20 percent to 25 percent at teaching hospitals. In teaching hospitals, the month of May had the lowest rate of mortality as interns conclude their training during this month and are much more experienced.

Moreover, the lead researcher of the study pointed out that, according to their findings, “For every 100 people hospitalized with a severe heart attack, five more people will die in July than in May.” Hence, an intern who struggled with inserting a stent to open up a patient’s clogged artery in July, and caused what could have been a fatal delay, is quite adept and experienced with that same procedure 10 months later.

If you or a love one has been injured or became ill due to incorrect or delayed medical treatment, please contact an experienced Westport medical malpractice attorney to discuss what legal recourse you may have against the physician and/or medical facility that caused your injury. Call Richard H. Raphael, Attorney at Law, at 203-226-6168 today to schedule your free consultation.

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