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Boston Globe: "Less sleep linked to medical errors"

October 20, 2009

In a study of approximately 9000 surgical and obstetrical procedures, Jeffrey M. Rothschild, MD, MPH and colleagues in the Harvard Work Hours, Health, and Safety group found that the risk of surgical complications occurring the following day was significantly increased when attending surgeons working overnight in the hospital had less than a 6 hour opportunity for sleep.  These are some of the first data to demonstrate that attending surgeons, as well as physicians-in-training, may be at risk of making harmful errors when they do not obtain sufficient sleep.

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