Wednesday, August 02, 2006

Try to be first in line

…HA used to think all operations took place before noon due to some weird doctor oath, but then she had a procedure late in the day. Ooops, wrong.

…Researchers at Duke looked at 90,000 surgeries and found a difference in patient outcomes between morning and late in the day.

…The patients who had to wait all day had anesthesia problems more often. These were not fatal, but were recorded.

…As the day ground on, more delays developed, transporters could not be found to bring patients up, people weren’t as fresh, paperwork got misplaced.

…Thirty-five percent of the problems involved more nausea and vomiting from anesthethic than in the morning procedures.

…They theorized that the Circadian rhythms of the doctors and nurses were at a low at 3:00 PM. This is also around the time the new teams come onboard and try to get set up and organized.

…This may also have something to do with the policy of not letting patients eat after midnight. When a surgery does not take place for say, oh, 18 hours, the patient’s metabolism can be at a low functioning point. This study showed letting patients with late surgery times eat tea and toast in the morning did not cause problems.

…Will the hospital culture catch up with that? Stay tuned.

…In the meantime, get chopped early.

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