Friday, August 2, 2013

Tired Surgeons

While there are no regulations on how many operations an orthopedic surgeon can perform per day, multiple studies have shown that a tired surgeon may put patients at risk.

According to an article published in the Poughkeepsie Journal, surgeons were interviewed in a 2011 Georgia Regents University study and said that fatigue has an effect on their emotions, cognitive capability, and fine-motor skills. Few of them reported that it has a large effect on patient safety. However, scientific studies have since stated that medical errors are much more likely to occur with a fatigued surgeon.

An article published in the New England Journal of Medicine in 2008 stated that a study showed the dangers of muscle fatigue, noting it increases how long the surgery takes, while a 2010 article declared there was an 83 percent increase in the risk of surgical complications for patients whose surgeons were not fully rested.
The Joint Commission has stated that fatigue increases the risk of medical errors, compromises patient safety, and increases risk to personal well-being. However, the commission or any other association does not provide guidance on the number of surgeries that can be performed by a physician in a given day.

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