Doctors' lack of sleep not always to blame for errors

Workload seems to be the important factor, US study in intensive care shows

Gruelling, long shifts may not have the effect on medical errors in hospitals as thought, with new findings pointing towards workload as the important factor.

The multi-hospital study on the effect of sleeplessness on medical errors by intensive doctors care shows how complex the issue of working hours and medical errors has become, the US researchers say.

They found ICY doctors who were forced to work 24-hour shifts made fewer serious medical mistakes - to the tune of 53% - than their counterparts