Work-related stress, fatigue and anxiety affect almost everyone at some point in their careers. Working long hours and making critical decisions can take its toll over time and lead to conduct that once seemed unacceptable.
Self-medicating through alcohol is a common way people attempt to overcome their stress, but when it happens on the job, it can harm others. The high-stress medical industry is rife with alcoholism and other substance abuse, potentially placing patients in danger of medical malpractice.
Six signs to watch out for
You likely have no relationship with your providers outside of the medical setting, making it harder to spot intoxication or incapacitation. However, if you notice the following signs or behaviors, you might want to rethink your professional relationship with them:
- Unusual irritability
- An odor of alcohol in the air or on their breath
- Slurred speech
- Forgetfulness during treatment
- Stumbling gait
- Noticeably dilated pupils
Serious injuries or even death can occur when a doctor or other health care professional practices medicine while intoxicated. Examples include:
- Making an incorrect diagnosis
- Prescribing improper medication
- Operating on the wrong body part
- Leaving items inside the patient after surgery
- Ordering the wrong dosage of the right medication
Mistakes like these can worsen your existing condition and lead to additional health problems.
If you were already harmed and you believe that alcohol or substance use led to your negligent medical injury, it’s wise to seek legal guidance. You have increased odds of proving that medical negligence caused your injuries when you know about the laws that govern medical malpractice in New York.