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Sleep-Deprivation Shows No Effect on Surgical Performance

Sleep deprivation has been previously believed to negatively affect performance in surgeons but a new study in JAMA suggests otherwise, Reuters reports. The study looked at records from non-emergency gallbladder surgeries performed by 331 surgeons at 102 community hospitals and “found 2,078 instances when the doctor had operated the night before a planned gallbladder removal.” Researchers compared outcomes of patients who were operated on by sleep-deprived surgeons and those operated on by surgeons who did not work the night before planned surgery. They found no difference in the size of incision, or injury that may have been caused by the doctor, such as a bowel puncture. Additionally, death rates were rare in both groups and there was no difference in rates between the two groups. The findings have important implications on the debate over the restriction of work-hours in the medical field.

Read the article published by Reuters.

Read the study in JAMA.