Robert M. Abrams
Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinics of North America
Sleep deprivation occurs when inadequate sleep leads to decreased performance, inadequate alertness, and deterioration in health. It is incompletely understood why humans need sleep, although some theories include energy conservation, restoration, and information processing. Sleep deprivation has many deleterious health effects. Residency programs have enacted strict work restrictions because of medically related errors due to sleep deprivation. Because obstetrics is an unpredictable specialty with long irregular hours, enacting a hospitalist program enhances patient safety, decreases malpractice risk, and improves the physician's quality of life by allowing obstetricians to get sufficient rest.
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