ASA PS01 – The Provision of ‘Out of Hours’ Anaesthetic Services (Revised)

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Preamble

Anaesthetists have a long tradition of providing anaesthesia and emergency services outside normal working hours. This is an onerous commitment which may affect the health of the anaesthetist, their clinical performance and their ability to perform regular in-hours duties.

Sleep deprivation, interruption of the circadian rhythm and fatigue are associated with ‘out of hours’ work. Fatigue may have a detrimental effect on work performance and safety1. This issue is compounded by participation in multiple rosters.

Anaesthetists and hospitals should be cognisant of the need to arrange their ‘on call’ such that they are not putting themselves or their patients at risk through unsafe work practices2.

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