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Arch Surg. 2011 Apr;146(4):419-26. doi: 10.1001/archsurg.2011.67.

Persistent next-day effects of excessive alcohol consumption on laparoscopic surgical performance.

Author information

  • 1National Surgical Training Centre, Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland, RCSI House, 121 St Stephen's Green, Dublin 2, Ireland.

Abstract

OBJECTIVE:

To examine the effect of previous-day excessive alcohol consumption on laparoscopic surgical performance.

DESIGN:

Study 1 was a randomized controlled trial. Study 2 was a cohort study.

SETTING:

Surgical skills laboratory.

PARTICIPANTS:

Sixteen science students (laparoscopic novices) participated in study 1. Eight laparoscopic experts participated in study 2.

INTERVENTIONS:

All participants were trained on the Minimally Invasive Surgical Trainer Virtual Reality (MIST-VR). The participants in study 1 were randomized to either abstain from alcohol or consume alcohol until intoxicated. All study 2 subjects freely consumed alcohol until intoxicated. Subjects were assessed the following day at 9 am, 1 pm, and 4 pm on MIST-VR tasks.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:

Assessment measures included time, economy of diathermy use, and error scores.

RESULTS:

In study 1, both groups performed similarly at baseline, but the alcohol group showed deterioration on all performance measures after alcohol consumption. Overall, although the time score differences between the 2 groups were not statistically significant (P = .29), there was a significant difference between the 2 groups' diathermy (P < .03) and error (P < .003) scores. There was also a significant effect for time of testing (P < .003), diathermy (P < .001), and errors (P < .001). In study 2, experts demonstrated a similar postalcohol performance decrement for time (P < .02), diathermy (P < .001), and error scores (P < .001).

CONCLUSION:

Excessive consumption of alcohol appeared to degrade surgical performance the following day even at 4 pm, suggesting the need to define recommendations regarding alcohol consumption the night before assuming clinical surgical responsibilities.

Comment in

PMID:
21502449
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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