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Study highlights impact of sleep deprivation on patients and health care providers
Date:12/21/2011

aximum allowable hours and putting people's lives at risk. In the past year, there has been more attention given to air traffic controllers' sleep deprivation and the subsequent impact on the public than there has on the people tasked with performing surgeries and providing health care during what could be the most critical period of an individual's life."

In the past year, as a result of numerous documented cases of air traffic controllers sleeping on the job, Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood and the federal government stepped in to require additional time off between shifts. This critical step was taken in an effort to further ensure the public's safety.

"People entering a hospital are entrusting their own health and safety, or that of their loved ones, to the health care providers on call," said Darcy. "Unfortunately, many of the residents are under significant pressure to exceed the maximum allowed 30-hour shift and 80-hour work week. Tack on the additional responsibility of taking care of up to 100 patients that a resident only has a peripheral knowledge of, and you have an almost guaranteed system of patient harm. Patient care is a delicate balance requiring total awareness and complete focus on each patient's individual health care needs, two attributes that are significantly impacted by lack of sleep and multiple patients to be accountable for. From the moment a patient enters the hospital, they have placed themselves in the hands of well-trained health care professionals who are entrusted every day with life and death decisions. However, these health care professionals are human beings with the same basic human needs for sleep as anyone else."


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Contact: Diana Soltesz
diana@dsmmedia.com
818-592-6747
Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center (LA BioMed)
Source:Eurekalert

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