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Patients are at risk because of nurses' long hours, says report

BMJ 2003; 327 doi: (Published 13 November 2003) Cite this as: BMJ 2003;327:1128
  1. Scott Gottlieb
  1. New York

    Many hospitals and nursing homes are endangering patients by allowing or requiring nurses to work more than 12 hours a day, according to a report commissioned by the US government.

    Long hours cause fatigue, reduce productivity, and increase the risk that the nurses will make mistakes that harm patients, says the report, conducted by the Institute of Medicine.

    The report said many nurses and nursing assistants worked more than 12 consecutive hours, with some working double shifts of 16 hours. …

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