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Journal Article > Study
Ayas NT, Barger LK, Cade BE, et al. JAMA. 2006;296:1055-1062.
Prior research in the intensive care setting has demonstrated that extended work shifts result in more serious medical errors by housestaff. This observational study, which enrolled interns prior to the 2003 policies limiting work hours, compared the rates of self-reported percutaneous injuries (eg, needle sticks) during extended work shifts (defined as day work following night duty) compared to non-extended work shifts (routine day work). Percutaneous injuries were more frequent during extended work shifts as well as during night duties. A companion study found that extended work shifts were still common despite regulations to reduce work hours.
Perspectives on Safety > Interview
In October 2004, in what immediately became a landmark paper in patient safety, Dr. Landrigan and his colleagues reported the results of their study on sleep deprivation and medical errors among interns. The AHRQ-funded study, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, revealed 36% more serious errors and 5.6 times more serious diagnostic errors among interns working a traditional schedule of more than 24 hours in a row than among interns working shorter shifts (1). We spoke with Dr. Landrigan, an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School, about his research and his thoughts on how the study findings might affect residency training in the future.