Less Sleep Could Mean More Errors in Intensive Care

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November 5, 2009

Doctors Consulting

Nurses who work in intensive care units were found to have a low sleep quality, which might lead to more errors and affect patient safety, according to a study presented at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians. Researchers at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston compared the sleep quality and vigilance of nurses in intensive care with floor nurses. They found the average number of errors at the beginning and end of each shift was significantly different for intensive care nurses, but not floor nurses. The researchers concluded in the study, "Sleepiness amongst nurses is both prevalent and has implications for patient safety."