Aside from meshing with common sense, it's been proven: a study published in The British Medical Journal in 2001 found babies born at night had a greater risk of dying than babies born during the day—but babies born around 9 AM also had a higher risk of dying. The obvious culprit was the shift changes.
The cacophony of coming and going, the transfer of info, the handing off of half-done tasks…it's not hard to see why shift changes up the danger ante. So learn when the shift changes take place in your hospital, and be vigilant.
Always ask the nurse, "Is there anything specific that I should tell the next nurse after you guys do the shift-change staff report? In part, you're really asking, "What should you tell your replacement so nothing happens to me?"
Don't get me wrong—nurses are the most caring, giving people we know, and they fight for you—but they get overworked too, so giving them reminders never hurts.
Find out more about this book:YOU: The Smart Patient: An Insider's Handbook for Getting the Best Treatment