Alcohol impairs next-day surgical skills

SURGEONS may experience “post-alcohol impairment” that makes them more error-prone well into the day after a big night, research has confirmed.

Dublin-based researchers conducted two studies – one involving 16 final-year science students who were trained in the use of a laparoscopic surgery simulator and the other involving eight expert surgeons – to check for next-day impairment from excessive alcohol consumption.

Eight of the students were sent out for a boozy dinner in which they could “drink alcohol freely until they felt intoxicated” while the other eight were randomly assigned as controls who had no alcohol.

The alcohol-intake group showed a higher error rate when they repeated simulated laparoscopic surgery tests at 9 am, 1 pm and 4 pm the following day.

The experts were also sent out for a boozy dinner, and they also returned a higher error rate in the simulation