State of the Art Review

Lung

, Volume 185, Issue 4, pp 203-209

First online:

The Impact of Housestaff Fatigue on Occupational and Patient Safety

  • Scot A. MountainAffiliated withThe Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia
  • , Bradley S. QuonAffiliated withThe Department of Medicine, University of British Columbia
  • , Peter DodekAffiliated withThe Department of Medicine, University of British ColumbiaProgram in Critical Care Medicine, Providence HealthcareCenter for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences, Providence Healthcare
  • , Robert SharpeAffiliated withProgram in Critical Care Medicine, Providence Healthcare
  • , Najib T. AyasAffiliated withThe Department of Medicine, University of British ColumbiaThe Sleep Disorders Program, University of British Columbia; Respiratory Division, Vancouver General Hospital; and Centre for Clinical Epidemiology and Evaluation, Vancouver Coastal Health Research InstituteProgram in Critical Care Medicine, Providence HealthcareCenter for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences, Providence HealthcareRespiratory Medicine, Gordon and Leslie Diamond Health Care Centre Email author 

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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.

Keywords

Resident work hours Sleep deprivation Fatigue Medical error Education medical graduate