Working Overnight Before Scheduled Procedures Not Linked To Increased Complications

November 14, 2012 | Strategic Insights for Health System


Procedures performed by attending physicians during the day after they worked an overnight shift (postnighttime) were not associated with significantly increased complication rates, according to the results of a study published in the October 2012 Canadian Journal of Surgery. The researchers matched a total of 9,191 surgical and 957 obstetrical postnighttime procedures with 3,552 and 3,945 control procedures, respectively. They found that complications occurred in 101 postnighttime procedures (5.4%) and 365 control procedures (4.9%). Additionally, complications occurred in 82 of 1,317 (6.2%) postnighttime procedures performed by surgeons who had six hours of sleep or less, as compared with 19 of 559 (3.4%) postnighttime procedures performed by surgeons who had more than six hours of sleep.

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