Study Suggests Link Between Lack of Sleep and Errors by ICU Nurses

Source: Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, November 25, 2009

A new study from researchers at the Baylor College of Medicine finds that nurses working in intensive care units (ICUs) may get less sleep than their peers on other units, and that they are more likely to make medical errors as a result. The study, findings from which were presented earlier this fall at the annual meeting of the American College of Chest Physicians in San Diego, Calif., correlated nurses’ scores on a sleep quality index and a psychomotor vigilance test.

“Nurses working in the ICU tend to have abnormal sleep and tend to have a greater frequency of errors across the length of their shift,” researcher Salim R. Surani said in an interview with Reuters Health. “These findings could be explained on the basis of the ICU nurses having a more impaired sleep quality as seen by PSQI [Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index], and perhaps having a more demanding and intensive work schedule in the ICU as compared to the floor.”
See also:
* Reuters article
* Medical News Today article (scroll down)

Leave a Reply