Resident work hour restrictions: Increasing surgical complications?

Limiting resident work hours may be linked with an increase in surgical complications:

Using data from the trauma center at the Los Angeles County + University of Southern California Medical Center, researchers compared outcomes before and after the limits were introduced. They found that the death rate didn’t change significantly. But the rate of “preventable complications” rose after the work limits were introduced. “This increase in complication rate may be due, in part, to the new 80-hour workweek policy,” the authors wrote. They suggested part of problem may be fragmentation of care as more people are involved in treatment of the same patient.

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