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Chapter 19 - Sleepiness in healthcare workers

from Section 2 - Sleep Disorders and Excessive Sleepiness

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  04 February 2011

Michael J. Thorpy
Affiliation:
Sleep-Wake Disorders Center, Montefiore Medical Center, Bronx, NY, USA
Michel Billiard
Affiliation:
Guide Chauliac Hospital, Montpellier, France
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Summary

This chapter reviews the manner in which sleep deprivation and circadian misalignment lead to impaired performance among healthcare providers. Several sleep and circadian factors affect the performance of physicians-in-training as well as other healthcare providers. In addition to acute sleep restriction, residents suffer chronic sleep restriction. Extended-duration work shifts also increase the likelihood of fatigue-related, self-reported medical errors. As learning is central to medical residency, any factor impairing resident learning is of concern. The only randomized evidence regarding elimination of 30-h shifts, and substitution with 16-h shifts, suggests that errors could in fact decrease by more than double this amount with widespread implementation of a 16-h shift limit. Lab- and field-based studies show us that extended resident shifts impair cognition and likely impair learning. Such impairment translates into error, poor patient care, and resident harm.
Type
Chapter
Information
Sleepiness
Causes, Consequences and Treatment
, pp. 204 - 214
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 2011

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