Doctors who work 28-hour shifts 'are not a danger to patients'

30-day mortality rates are the same whether interns work 16-hour or 28-hour shifts, say researchers

Trainee doctors who work 80 hours a week provide comparable patient care whether they work longer or shorter days, according to a study looking at the two types of shift work.

The US research shows 30-day mortality rates for hospital patients being treated by residents are 12.2% when shifts are limited to 16 hours a day, five days a week.

And 12.5% when shifts are 28 hours or more.

Lead author Dr David Asch says trainees who work flexible shifts over longer days do not appear to affect patient safety.

"We found no increase in safety concerns with flexible shifts (involving longer days) compared with the shift structures that were much more restrictive (shorter days)," says Dr Asch from the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia, US.

Furthermore, in a second study when the researchers&nbsp