News: Do you have a right to know if your surgeon is hungover?
If you’re reading this while procrastinating at your desk job (don’t worry, we all do it), it probably doesn’t really
If you’re reading this while procrastinating at your desk job (don’t worry, we all do it), it probably doesn’t really matter if you have a hangover. Sure, it’s unprofessional to show up at work after a few too many cocktails, but nursing a hangover while riding a desk probably isn’t going to get anyone killed. Not so for surgeon, however. New research out of the UK suggests that surgeons who wield the knife while hungover are more likely to make mistakes than those who perform surgery after a night of tea-totaling, the Globe and Mail reports (via Reuters).
To come to these not-so-shocking results, the study assessed the performance of 16 surgeons and med students after a night of partying. Reserchers found that the docs who imbibed made twice as many errors as usual, even though most of them didn’t have measurable blood-alcohol levels.
So now you’re now thinking, "Ummm…yeah, few of us can deliver a top-notch performance after spending the night sucking back G&Ts. Tell me something I don’t know." OK, how about this: Surgeons are more likely to engage in dangerous drinking than are other physicians, reports the Globe. Here’s what the study’s author had to say about the results in the Archives of Surgery :
‘It is likely that surgeons are unaware that next-day surgical performance may be compromised as a result of significant alcohol intake.’
Not super comforting if you’re the one about to go under the knife. So what’s the solution? Should surgeons have to sign a contract promising to remain sober on nights before surgery?