Sleep in the intensive care unit: Sleepy doctors and restless patients

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This review focuses on the adverse effects of sleep derangements on physicians and patients in the intensive care unit. Recent evidence suggests that the complexity and level of care delivered in the intensive care unit (ICU) has outstripped a trainee's ability to forego sleep and is compromising both physician and patient safety and thereby threatens the foundation of the profession. Sleepy physicians are not only more capable of committing medical errors, but are also more likely to suffer motor vehicle crashes, workplace conflicts, and occupational injuries. Moreover, critically ill patients may suffer from sleep derangements due to a host of factors that includes mechanical ventilation, ICU noise levels, and healthcare activities, although a majority of sleep disturbances in this population are as yet unexplained. Besides suffering at the hands of sleepy physicians, critically ill patients may experience adverse outcomes due to severe sleep derangements during their ICU stay. In conclusion, both critically ill patients and intensive care physicians are susceptible to sleep deprivation and derangements that may ultimately adversely influence patient outcomes. Administrators of an ICU need to be cognizant of the effect of sleep, or lack thereof, on patient and physician safety. Researchers in the areas of sleep medicine and critical care need to collaborate on furthering our understanding of this emerging area of study.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)129-136
Number of pages8
JournalClinical Intensive Care
Volume16
Issue number3-4
DOIs
StatePublished - Sep 2005

Fingerprint

Intensive Care Units
Sleep
Physicians
Critical Illness
Critical Care
Patient Safety
Occupational Injuries
Medical Errors
Aptitude
Sleep Deprivation
Motor Vehicles
Administrative Personnel
Artificial Respiration
Workplace
Noise
Patient Care
Hand
Research Personnel
Medicine
Delivery of Health Care

Keywords

  • Artificial respiration
  • Critical illness
  • House officer
  • Mechanical ventilation
  • Physician
  • Resident physician
  • Sleep
  • Sleep deprivation
  • Work-hours

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Critical Care and Intensive Care Medicine

Cite this

Sleep in the intensive care unit : Sleepy doctors and restless patients. / Parthasarathy, Sairam.

In: Clinical Intensive Care, Vol. 16, No. 3-4, 09.2005, p. 129-136.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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