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Published:September 15th, 2009 13:53 EST

Sleep Deprived Australian Doc's Told To Drink Coffee

By Robert Paul Reyes


"Exhausted Australian doctors have been told to drink up to six cups of coffee a day to stay awake during extended shifts, building pressure on Prime Minister Kevin Rudd to seize control of state-run hospitals.

A document on fatigue management released by health officials in Queensland state recommended doctors ingest 400 milligrams of caffeine to stay awake on the job, or the equivalent of six cups of coffee, after warnings that patients were dying." Reuters

The advice of the health officials makes Marie Antoinettes`s immortal words "Let them eat cake" seem like words of hope and inspiration.

Medical residents aren`t robots, and if hospital administrators overwork them, the patients will pay the price. It isn`t uncommon for residents to work double shifts, this is patently unfair to the residents and to their patients.

What sleep-deprived physicians need is sleep, not coffee! It is unconscionable that health officials are advising doctors to take a drug (coffee) so they can stay awake and work incredibly long hours.

I hope karma kicks in and a physician who has been up for 24 hours will operate on the administrator responsible for this insane recommendation.