January 5th, 2011
Do Sleep-Deprived Invasive Cardiologists Cause Complications?
In an NEJM perspective, the former president of the Sleep Research Society reports an 83% increase in the risk of surgical complications in patients undergoing elective daytime surgery performed by attending surgeons who had a <6-hour opportunity for sleep between procedures during a previous on-call night. He argues that physicians who have been awake for 22 of the previous 24 hours should be required to “inform their patients of the extent and potential safety impact of their sleep deprivation and to obtain consent from such patients prior to providing clinical care or performing any medical or surgical procedures.” The patients should then be given the choice of (1) proceeding with the surgery by the attending surgeon of record, (2) rescheduling it, or (3) proceeding with the surgery by a different surgeon.
No published studies have examined the influence of sleep deprivation on complication rates in interventionalists or electrophysiologists.
Is the effect of sleep deprivation on the quality of PCI or EP study a real (or perceived) problem?
When a patient undergoes elective PCI or EP study, should the cardiologist be required to inform the patient of the amount of sleep that he or she had the previous night?
Should invasive cardiologists be prohibited from performing procedures the day after being awake while on call?
Do you need to take a nap before answering these questions?
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