Study Reveals Hungover Surgeons More Prone To Make Mistakes

In interesting new study was released by the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland in the Archives of Surgery are more likely to make mistakes after an evening or night of drinking.

To measure the degree of that impairment, the researchers invited eight surgeons and 16 students out for a night on the town. Half the students and all of the experts were encouraged to down as much booze as they wanted until they felt drunk. The rest of the students weren’t allowed to touch any alcohol, but still went out for dinner. The next day, the merrymakers, hung-over or not, went to the lab to perform a type of camera-guided surgery that uses a few small incisions instead of one big one — so-called laparoscopy. The surgery was done on a virtual reality system, not a real person. That turned out to be fortunate, because both the surgeons and those students who had been drunk did worse than when they were tested before the party.  At 9 AM, hung-over students made about 19 errors on average, while those who hadn’t been drinking made only eight. This difference hadn’t been seen before the night out, and faded over the day.

This is an interesting revelation as typically the medical profession does not regulate or restrict surgeons from drinking the day or night before surgery. It will be interesting to see if the medical profession takes a stricter approach to drinking the day or night before performing surgery.

If you or someone you know has a Chicago medical negligence or Chicago medical malpractice case to review, then call Chicago personal injury attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free legal consulation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at

Doctor Operates On Boy’s Wrong Eye

A surgical blunder took place in Washington State last week, which – – to this personal injury attorney – – is another reason why tort reform is a bad idea. The Associated Press reported that  four year old, Jesse Matlock, had surgery performed on the wrong eye.  The surgery was to be performed on his right eye to prevent it from wandering. The boy’s parents said Dr. Shawn Goodman operated on the boy’s left eye before repeating the operation on the correct eye. The parents said that since the operation, they have not seen any improvement in the right eye and now the boy’s left eye appears to be wandering.

“Our hope is to never have it happen again in any of our hospitals,” said Dr. Lori Morgan, CEO of Legacy Emanuel Medical Center in Portland.  The parents said they have hired a lawyer and were considering a malpractice lawsuit. Gaul said she is concerned about the effects of the unnecessary surgery on her son’s vision.

This is a scary story and also a valuable lesson about this country’s tort system. Doctors are human, and they make mistakes.  Doctors work very hard and spend many years in school to achieve their success. Regardless, doctors need to be held accountable like everyone else when they commit avoidable mistakes.  Obviously this surgical mishap was not done on purpose, but the point is we currently have a system in place that will protect helpless injured patients like Jesse Matlock.  Tort reform advocates like to argue that our Court system is rampant with frivolous lawsuits. The fact is medical malpractice lawsuits, and most serious injury cases, are very expensive to litigate. Personal injury attorneys must look at cases very closely before taking them. Do to these costs and high risk, medical malpractice cases are not flooding our nations courthouses. 

No doctor is perfect and they should be held accountable when they do things like operate on the wrong body part. If Jesse Matlock has permanent vision impairment, or now has two (2) wondering eyes, he should be properly compensated for that loss. If the insurance company lobbyists have their way, then helpless victims like Jesse Matlock my not be properly compensation.  This, to me, is a perfect example as to why tort reform is a path that Illinois and this country should not take.

If you or someone you know has a potential Illinois medical malpractice case or has suffered from a catastrophic injury, then call Chicago accident attorney, Aaron J. Bryant, for a free consultation at 312-588-3384 or go to the firm website at