Long work hours affect medical residents

Sep 07, 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: How were fossil tracks made by Early Triassic swimming reptiles so well preserved?

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

'Nanogap' for early detection of bladder and kidney cancer

Feb 16, 2015

A new mobile device that allows bladder and kidney cancer to be detected at an early stage. This is being worked on by Wilfred van der Wiel, professor of nanoelectronics at the University of Twente MESA+ research institute. ...

Recommended for you

Predicting human crowds with statistical physics

Feb 27, 2015

For the first time researchers have directly measured a general law of how pedestrians interact in a crowd. This law can be used to create realistic crowds in virtual reality games and to make public spaces safer.

Bribery 'hits 1.6 billion people a year'

Feb 27, 2015

A total of 1.6 billion people worldwide – nearly a quarter of the global population – are forced to pay bribes to gain access to everyday public services, according to a new book by academics at the Universities of Birmingham ...

Broken windows thesis springs a leak

Feb 27, 2015

The broken windows theory posits that minor misdemeanors, like littering or graffiti spraying, stimulate more serious anti-social behavior. LMU sociologists now argue that the idea is flawed and does not ...

User comments : 0

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.