Fatigue and anaesthetists | Association of Anaesthetists
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Fatigue and anaesthetists


Fatigue is a subjective feeling of the need to sleep, an increased physiological drive to fall asleep and a state of decreased alertness. Its consequences include a decreased capacity to perform mental or physical tasks and are manifested in reduced physiological performance and cognitive impairment. These guidelines have been developed for individuals and departments when considering the effects of hours of work and type of work undertaken in anaesthesia on clinician’s performance and wellbeing. 

These guidelines cover but are not limited to: 

  • Recommendations for managing fatigue 
  • Particular risks of fatigue in anaesthetists 
  • Tools to assess fatigue