BACKGROUND: The Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education resident duty-hour restrictions were implemented in July 2003 based on the supposition that resident fatigue contributes to medical errors.
OBJECTIVE: To examine the effect of duty-hour restrictions on outcome in neurotrauma patients.
METHODS: The Nationwide Inpatient Sample database was analyzed for a time period with no restrictions (years 1999-2002) compared with a period with restrictions (years 2005-2008) for (1) mortality and (2) complications. We analyzed both teaching and nonteaching hospitals to account for potential differences attributed to non–resident-related factors.
RESULTS: There were 107 006 teaching hospital and 115 604 nonteaching hospital admissions for neurotrauma. Multivariate logistic regression demonstrated significantly more complications in the time period with restrictions in teaching hospitals. In nonteaching hospitals, there was no difference in complications. In both teaching and nonteaching hospitals, there was no difference in mortality between the 2 time periods. For teaching and nonteaching hospitals, there was no difference in hospital length of stay, but hospital charges were significantly higher in the period with restrictions. The occurrence of a complication was significantly associated with longer hospital length of stay and higher hospital charges in both time periods in both teaching and nonteaching hospitals.
CONCLUSION: The implementation of the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education resident duty-hour restrictions was associated with increased complications and no change in mortality for neurotrauma patients in teaching hospitals. In nonteaching hospitals, there was no change in complications and mortality. The occurrence of a complication was associated with longer length of stay and higher hospital charges in both time periods in both teaching and nonteaching hospitals.
ABBREVIATIONS: ACGME, Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education
CI, confidence interval
ISS, Injury Severity Score
NIS, Nationwide Inpatient Sample
Departments of *Neurosurgery and
‡Biostatistics, University of Florida, Gainesville, Florida
§Neurosurgical Service, Massachusetts General Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts
Correspondence: Brian L. Hoh, MD, Department of Neurosurgery, University of Florida, PO Box 100265, Gainesville, FL 32610. E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Received August 29, 2011
Accepted November 30, 2011