Sleep-Deprived Anesthesiologists Pose a Danger to Patients

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Sleep-Deprived Anesthesiologists Pose a Danger to Patients
Sleep-Deprived Anesthesiologists Pose a Danger to Patients

HealthDay News — Partial sleep deprivation after a night shift affects anesthesiologists' total mood status and their cognitive skills, according to a study published in Pediatric Anesthesia.

Haleh Saadat, MD, from Nationwide Children's Hospital in Columbus, Ohio, and colleagues evaluated the impact of partial sleep deprivation after a 17-hour overnight call (3 p.m. to 7 a.m.) on the mood status and cognitive skills of 21 pediatric anesthesiologists in an academic clinical hospital setting, compared to when working regular hours. The Profile of Mood States was used to assess six mood states between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m., with a total score providing a global estimate of affective state.

The researchers found that tension, anger, fatigue, confusion, Total Mood Disturbance score, irritability, feeling jittery, and sleepiness were significantly affected (P < 0.05). Following a night-call shift there were decreases in vigor, energy, and confidence (P < 0.05). Being "talkative" also decreased after the call shift (P < 0.05).

"Such observations suggest that there may be changes that impact the safety of our patients and the quality of health care that is provided," the authors write.


Saadat H, Bissonnette B, Tumin D, et al. Time to talk about work-hour impact on anesthesiologists: The effects of sleep deprivation on Profile of Mood States and cognitive tasks. Paediatr Anaesth. 2016;26(1):66-71.

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