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Limiting neurosurgery residents' work hours hasn't decreased complication rates
Date:11/19/2012

Philadelphia, Pa. (November 19, 2012) Limits on duty hours for residents in training haven't increased the safety of one common brain operation, concludes a study in the November issue of Neurosurgery, official journal of the Congress of Neurological Surgeons. The journal is published by Lippincott Williams & Wilkins, a part of Wolters Kluwer Health.

Hospitals that train neurosurgery residents have had an uptick in complication rates since the work-hour limits were introduced, according to the study led by Drs. Anand I. Rughani, of the University of Toronto, and Travis M. Dumont of University of Buffalo, N.Y. The findings raise concerns that limiting residents' work hours may have contributed to increased complication rates, at least indirectly.

Have Work Limits Affected Neurosurgery Complication Rates?

The study was designed to evaluate the patient safety impact of rules limiting the hours worked by residents, introduced in 2003. The goal of the limitsa maximum of 88 hours per weekwas to reduce the risk of errors and injury related to resident fatigue.

The researchers analyzed data from a nationwide hospital database from 1998-2002 and 2004-2008five years before and five years after the new work-hour rules. The study focused on surgery to remove benign brain tumors called meningiomasa common neurosurgery procedure that did not significantly change in other ways during the periods studied.

Complication rates were assessed for more than 21,000 patients. The study looked at complications not only at teaching hospitals where residents work and train, but also in non-teaching hospitals, which don't train residents.

The data from teaching hospitals showed a significant increase in compl
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Contact: Connie Hughes
Connie.Hughes@wolterskluwer.com
646-674-6348
Wolters Kluwer Health
Source:Eurekalert

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