..That’s the advice by the Queensland State government to their doctors who have been working on 30-80 hour non-stop shifts. This advice is contained in a 102-page Queensland Health Fatigue Risk Management System in response to a complaint that public hospital patients were dying because dangerously tired medics were being forced to work up to 80 hours without a break.(see the Reuter’s report)
The document recommends 400 milligrams of coffee (6 cups of coffee) as a fatigue fighter, so that the exhausted doctors can continue their duties. 600 milligrams? That’s enough to cause heart palpitations, raised blood pressure, dizziness, anxiety and hand tremors! Not to mention caffeine dependence and addiction.
The background for this astonishing strategy appears to be mainly due to Australia’s ailing public hospital system which is managed by state governments like Queensland, with federal government support. Gross inefficiencies and the rising cost of healthcare have led to insufficient funding and staff shortages. In a scenario similar to the US, urgent healthcare reform is on the cards and Kevin Rudd is seriously considering a federal government takeover.
Back to coffee..lets not forget its beneficial effects. Its a rich source of anti-oxidants like chlorogenic acid and melanoidins. It also helps to prevent diabetes,Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease. The jury is still out on whether it causes heart disease although it is known to increase blood pressure. Read more about the health effects of coffee in my earlier posting “Losing Sleep Over Coffee”.
Thanks to Fidel for drawing attention to this news report.
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