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[Perspectives] A sleep prescription for medicine

Inadequate sleep leads to inadequate health care. Junior doctors working a 34 h shift will make 460% more diagnostic mistakes than when well rested. These same tired physicians will commit 36% more serious medical errors than those working 16 h or less. Seasoned physicians can suffer the same compromise of medical skills. A senior attending surgeon who has slept only 6 h or less the previous night is 170% more likely to inflict a serious surgical error on a patient, relative to when he or she has slept adequately.

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