Long work hours affect medical residents

September 7, 2005

Researchers say long hours of work required of most medical residents affects their neurobehavioral performance like alcohol impairment.

Researchers said medical interns who got 5.8 fewer hours sleep, had 50 percent more attentional mistakes, and made 22 percent more serious errors on critical care units while working a traditional schedule, compared with a schedule with fewer hours.

J. Todd Arnedt of the University of Michigan and colleagues compared post-call neurobehavioral performance of 34 medical residents after their rotations to examine the effect of extended work hours.

The researchers found performance impairment during a heavy call rotation was comparable to impairment associated with a .04 to .05 grams percent blood alcohol concentration during a light call rotation.

Compared with light call, heavy call reaction times were 7 percent slower and lane variability and speed variability during a simulated driving test were 27 percent and 71 percent greater, in that order.

"These findings have important clinical implications," researchers concluded. "Residents must be aware of post-call performance impairment and the potential risk to personal and patient safety."

The study is detailed in the Sept. 7 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Copyright 2005 by United Press International

Explore further: Cellular contamination pathway for plutonium, other heavy elements, identified

Related Stories

Scientists find electrifying solution to sticky problem

August 25, 2015

Inspired by the limitations of biomimetic glues in wet environments, scientists from Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have invented a glue that will harden when a voltage is applied to it. This ...

Supercomputers listen to the heart

August 19, 2015

New supercomputer models have come closer than ever to capturing the behavior of normal human heart valves and their replacements, according to recent studies by groups including scientists at the Institute for Computational ...

Recommended for you

New Horizons team selects potential Kuiper Belt flyby target

August 29, 2015

NASA has selected the potential next destination for the New Horizons mission to visit after its historic July 14 flyby of the Pluto system. The destination is a small Kuiper Belt object (KBO) known as 2014 MU69 that orbits ...

0 comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.