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Physicians and the spread of disease

| Nov 21, 2013 | Failure to Diagnose

Physicians in Texas are like physicians all across the United States. They work long, difficult hours and rarely take a sick day. This practice can lead to complications and medical negligence for their patients.

From medical school, a physician is taught that taking a sick day is for wimps. Because it is hard to reschedule all of the patients that are scheduled on any given day, call in staff to fill in and other logistical nightmares, physicians find it easier to just come in when they’re sick. This practice, though, can be detrimental for their patients. Many of the physicians who come to work have communicable diseases. When spread to patients with suppressed immune systems, the results can be a worsened condition and spread of disease. In 2005, a nursing home outbreak of the norovirus was found to be the result of medical staff continuing to come to work while they were sick. Many more residents may have become ill because the medical staff did not stay home.

Medical staff members who continue to go to work can make patients sicker than they already are. This type of irresponsible behavior can be detrimental for those who are already sick, especially for those who are young, old or have a chronic health condition. A person who finds himself or herself involved in a situation where a doctor’s negligence may have resulted in their worsened condition may want to speak to a legal professional skilled in medical malpractice. Negligent doctors should be held accountable for their actions and a legal professional can help sort out the details of the patient’s treatment and what may have gone wrong.

Doctors have a vow to do no harm, but when they go to work while sick, they can easily spread their disease. Holding medical professionals accountable for these types of decisions is important.

Source: The New York Times, “Why doctors don’t take sick days,” Danielle Ofri, Nov. 15, 2013

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