Thursday, October 8, 2009

Anytime is good for heart surgery

"The October issue of the journal Anesthesiology contains a study reviewing potential adverse effects associated with the timing of a patient's heart surgery; but based on this study, there is no bad time of the day or week or year to have elective coronary artery bypass graft surgery. Research indicates that sleep deficits, natural body rhythm disturbances, and prolonged duty all reduce performance of drivers and pilots. This study's authors tested the theory that the same adverse effects may impact hospital personnel performance. Hospital personnel often work off-hours and pull long shifts. The study investigators thus expected surgical outcomes to be worse at the end of the day and at the end of the week when personnel are likely most fatigued. Similarly, outcomes might be worse in July when new resident physician trainees, fresh out of medical school or newly promoted to perform more demanding duties, start working"

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