An interesting article was published by CNN entitled “Why doctors fall asleep while treating you” – yes, this actually happens. Here’s an excerpt:
Confession: I’ve fallen asleep while operating on patients. And I’m sure I’m not the only one.
No, I’ve never passed out and face-planted into a patient’s open belly. Nor have I fallen asleep in the operating room as a plastic surgeon in practice. But as a resident, I performed the dreaded head-bob several times. Here is a typical scenario:
The OR is silent, except for the rhythmic beep from the anesthesia machine. My surgical scrubs feel warm, like a pair of comfy pajamas. I sit, holding two tiny retractors, while the hand surgeon meticulously dissects the patient’s carpal tunnel. It’s a surgery I’ve assisted on dozens of times before.
I blink and try to remember what day it is. It seems like forever ago that I arrived at the hospital. In fact, it’s been more than 32 hours since my shift started. During this past day and a half, I’ve logged more than 15 hours in the OR and exactly zero minutes of sleep.
Dr. Anthony Youn is a plastic surgeon in metro Detroit.
My eyelids feel heavy, as if being pulled down by an invisible force. I begin shaking my knee up and down, an attempt to keep myself awake.
“Stay still!” the attending surgeon growls.
My knee stops.
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Heaviness returns to my eyelids. I’m dancing on the edge of sleep. Five minutes later, I lose the battle. My head briefly bobs down, then back up.
I immediately look around. Has anyone noticed? Apparently not the surgeon.
I look at the scrub technician, sitting to my right. She nods her head at me, knowingly. Then she digs her heel into my foot. Hard.
I suppress a yelp.
I’m awake now.
Does this shock you? Let us know what you think!