The impact of housestaff fatigue on occupational and patient safety.
ABSTRACT Extended-duration work shifts (i.e., greater than 24 hours) for housestaff are a long-standing tradition. However, the resultant sleep deprivation and fatigue caused by these extreme work schedules pose potential threats to both physician and patient safety. We believe it is critical to understand the potential adverse consequences of housestaff fatigue to optimize shift schedules and reduce risks to both staff and patients.
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Article: The link between fatigue and safety[Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
ABSTRACT: The objective of this review was to examine the evidence for the link between fatigue and safety, especially in transport and occupational settings. For the purposes of this review fatigue was defined as 'a biological drive for recuperative rest'. The review examined the relationship between three major causes of fatigue - sleep homeostasis factors, circadian influences and nature of task effects - and safety outcomes, first looking at accidents and injury and then at adverse effects on performance. The review demonstrated clear evidence for sleep homeostatic effects producing impaired performance and accidents. Nature of task effects, especially tasks requiring sustained attention and monotony, also produced significant performance decrements, but the effects on accidents and/or injury were unresolved because of a lack of studies. The evidence did not support a direct link between circadian-related fatigue influences and performance or safety outcomes and further research is needed to clarify the link. Undoubtedly, circadian variation plays some role in safety outcomes, but the evidence suggests that these effects reflect a combination of time of day and sleep-related factors. Similarly, although some measures of performance show a direct circadian component, others would appear to only do so in combination with sleep-related factors. The review highlighted gaps in the literature and opportunities for further research.Accident; analysis and prevention 03/2011; 43(2):498-515. DOI:10.1016/j.aap.2009.11.011 · 1.65 Impact Factor
Article: Physicians and sleep deprivationCurrent opinion in pulmonary medicine 12/2008; 14(6):507-11. DOI:10.1097/MCP.0b013e3283165e81 · 2.96 Impact Factor
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ABSTRACT: To compare the self-perceived sleepiness of Canadian anesthesia residents providing modified on-call duties (12-16 h) vs. traditional on-call duties (24 h). A 25-item online survey was distributed to all Canadian anesthesia residents who, at that time, were on anesthesia rotations. The survey assessed resident demographics, perceived work patterns, and sleepiness, as well as their opinions on resident work hour reform. Self-perceived sleepiness was quantified using the validated Epworth sleepiness scale (ESS). Three hundred eight of 400 (77%) eligible Canadian anesthesia residents completed the survey. Forty-three percent of residents who worked traditional on-call (duration 24.1 +/- 0.5 h) shifts and 48% of residents who worked modified on-call (duration 15.5 +/- 1.8 h) shifts met ESS criteria for excessive daytime sleepiness. Overall mean ESS scores did not differ significantly between the traditional (9.1 +/- 4.9) and the modified call groups (9.5 +/- 4.8). Residents with an on-call frequency of >or=1:4 days or those who slept <or=2 h while on call perceived themselves as significantly more sleepy (P = 0.045 and P = 0.008, respectively). Six percent of residents admitted to taking "something other than caffeine" to stay awake on call. Many anesthesia residents do exhibit excessive daytime sleepiness, with a similar incidence for those working within either modified or traditional call systems. Our study suggests that sleepiness may be reduced by scheduling on-call duties no more frequently than one in every five nights and by ensuring that residents sleep more than 2 h while on call.Canadian Journal of Anaesthesia 01/2009; 56(1):27-34. DOI:10.1007/s12630-008-9003-8 · 2.50 Impact Factor