Study highlights impact of sleep deprivation on patients and health care providers
A new UCLA study shows that physicians who work shorter shifts are less likely to make mistakes during medical procedures.
Dr. Christian De Virgilio, lead investigator at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor- UCL A Medical Center (LA BioMed), led a team that studied the medical records of 2,470 patients who had undergone laparoscopic gallbladder surgery. The study focused on operations that took place before and after rules were put in place in 2003 limiting hours worked by doctors. About half of the operations were performed before a reduction in hours, and the other half were performed after the reduction.
"We suspected that the outcomes would have been the same before and after," said Dr. De Virgilio. "Instead, the complication rate decreased. We are actually surprised to find the outcomes improved."
The UCLA study offers some of the first evidence that the rules put into place in 2003 establishing the current guidelines for physicians in training to work a maximum shift of 30 hours, with a maximum 80-hour work week, resulted in better care for patients. Previously, many doctors have argued that the limits interfere with the training of doctors but make no difference in patient care.
"The hard truth is that many hospitals do not adhere to the maximum allowable guidelines put in place in 2003," said Dr. Sean Darcy, University of California, Irvine (UCI) Surgical Resident and President of the Patient and Physician Safety Association. "In fact, many residents record their hours at below 80 and really work 80 hour weeks, and those that record otherwise or speak up are retaliated against by their superiors. Unfortunately, there is no real law to ensure the uniform standard being implemented by UCLA in accordance with the 2003 guidelines is actually being followed in other hospitals. The health care profession needs that type of enforceable law to make sure health care providers are not exceeding the maximum allowable hours and putting people's lives at risk. In the past year, there has been more attention given to air traffic controllers' sleep deprivation and the subsequent impact on the public than there has on the people tasked with performing surgeries and providing health care during what could be the most critical period of an individual's life."
In the past year, as a result of numerous documented cases of air traffic controllers sleeping on the job, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the federal government stepped in to require additional time off between shifts. This critical step was taken in an effort to further ensure the public's safety.
"People entering a hospital are entrusting their own health and safety, or that of their loved ones, to the health care providers on call," said Darcy. "Unfortunately, many of the residents are under significant pressure to exceed the maximum allowed 30-hour shift and 80-hour work week. Tack on the additional responsibility of taking care of up to 100 patients that a resident only has a peripheral knowledge of, and you have an almost guaranteed system of patient harm. Patient care is a delicate balance requiring total awareness and complete focus on each patient's individual health care needs, two attributes that are significantly impacted by lack of sleep and multiple patients to be accountable for. From the moment a patient enters the hospital, they have placed themselves in the hands of well-trained health care professionals who are entrusted every day with life and death decisions. However, these health care professionals are human beings with the same basic human needs for sleep as anyone else."
Provided by University of California Los Angeles
- Rest requirements for residents unlikely to improve outcomes in 2 common surgeries Jul 26, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Rookie docs may get more oversight, shorter shifts Jun 23, 2010 | not rated yet | 0
- Study finds amount of work for residents -- not just hours -- need review Sep 09, 2008 | not rated yet | 0
- Sleep deprivation in doctors May 24, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Policies to reduce medical residents' fatigue may compromise quality of training Mar 01, 2011 | not rated yet | 0
- Motion perception revisited: High Phi effect challenges established motion perception assumptions Apr 23, 2013 | 3 / 5 (2) | 2
- Anything you can do I can do better: Neuromolecular foundations of the superiority illusion (Update) Apr 02, 2013 | 4.5 / 5 (11) | 5
- The visual system as economist: Neural resource allocation in visual adaptation Mar 30, 2013 | 5 / 5 (2) | 9
- Separate lives: Neuronal and organismal lifespans decoupled Mar 27, 2013 | 4.9 / 5 (8) | 0
- Sizing things up: The evolutionary neurobiology of scale invariance Feb 28, 2013 | 4.8 / 5 (10) | 14
Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras
Apr 15, 2011 I'd like to open a discussion thread for version 2 of the draft of my book ''Classical and Quantum Mechanics via Lie algebras'', available online at http://lanl.arxiv.org/abs/0810.1019 , and for the...
- More from Physics Forums - Independent Research
More news stories
Bed sharing with parents is linked to a fivefold increased risk of sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), even when the parents are non-smokers and the mother has not been drinking alcohol and does not use illegal drugs, according ...
Health 1 hour ago | 1 / 5 (1) | 0
Doctors tell people with a heart-zapping device in their chests to give up intense sports like basketball and soccer in favor of golf or bowling. But lots of patients ignore that advice—and now new research is challenging ...
Health 2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Little is known about the effect of physical education (PE) on child weight, but a new study from Cornell University finds that increasing the amount of time that elementary schoolchildren spent in gym class reduces the probability ...
Health 4 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
Living near a major roadway during the prenatal period is associated with an increased risk of respiratory infection developing in children by the age of 3, according to a new study from researchers in Boston.
Health 6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
People who are consistently exposed to both wood smoke and tobacco smoke are at a greater risk for developing chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and for experiencing more frequent and severe symptoms of the disease, ...
Health 6 hours ago | not rated yet | 0
New research suggests that a compound abundant in the Mediterranean diet takes away cancer cells' "superpower" to escape death. By altering a very specific step in gene regulation, this compound essentially re-educates cancer ...
4 hours ago | 4.7 / 5 (7) | 1 |
(Medical Xpress)—A research team, led by Jeremy Barr, a biology post-doctoral fellow, unveils a new immune system that protects humans and animals from infection.
1 hour ago | 4.3 / 5 (6) | 1 |
Turns out, that old "practice makes perfect" adage may be overblown. New research led by Michigan State University's Zach Hambrick finds that a copious amount of practice is not enough to explain why people ...
2 hours ago | 3.6 / 5 (5) | 0 |
Older prostate cancer patients with other underlying health conditions should think twice before committing to surgery or radiation therapy for their cancer, according to a multicenter study led by researchers in the UCLA ...
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
A new diagnostic test for a worm infection that can lead to severe enlargement and deformities of the legs and genitals is far more sensitive than the currently used test, according to results of a field ...
2 hours ago | not rated yet | 0 |
Researchers have pinpointed a catalytic trigger for the onset of Alzheimer's disease – when the fundamental structure of a protein molecule changes to cause a chain reaction that leads to the death of neurons ...
5 hours ago | 5 / 5 (2) | 0 |