Junior doctors are so sleep deprived that more than half have suffered a road accident or near miss while driving home after work, according to new research.
Hospital trainees have described falling asleep at the wheel, careering into other vehicles and being stopped by the police after exhausting, caffeine-fuelled night shifts.
A study in the journal Anaesthesia found that 1,229 of 2,155 trainee anaesthetists – 57 per cent – had been involved in a road incident, or had come close to having one, on the drive home.
More than eight out of 10 of respondents said that they had felt too tired to drive home after a night shift, and 90 per cent use caffeine-based drinks in order to stay awake on a night shift.
One junior doctor said in the survey: “I have fallen asleep at traffic lights. I once hallucinated on the motorway.”
Another recorded: “Previously experienced microsleep/nodding off on the M5. Foot came off the gas pedal and the car slowly drifted into middle lane. Woke up when driver in van came up alongside me and honked continuously.”
Article from the Telegraph, 6 July 2017