The effect of sleep deprivation on a resident's situational awareness in a trauma scenario

J Orthop Trauma. 2014 Jul;28(7):e160-3. doi: 10.1097/BOT.0000000000000003.


Objectives: Situational awareness (SA) refers to the perception of elements in one's environment, the comprehension of their meaning, and the projection of their status in the near future. The SA global assessment technique (SAGAT) is an assessment tool validated for use in a trauma simulation. The goal of this study was to determine the effect of sleep deprivation on residents' performance in a trauma simulation, evaluated by the SAGAT.

Methods: A power analysis determined that 9 residents would be needed to show a significant difference in SAGAT scores (7%). Therefore, 9 surgical residents on an intensive care unit rotation underwent 2 trauma simulations. One session was performed in the rested condition, and the other was for postcall. The SAGAT was used to evaluate the residents' performance. The rested and postcall scores were compared.

Results: Using a paired t test, the SAGAT scores were analyzed. The average rested score was 80.13% (range, 50%-94%), and the sleep-deprived score was 80.09% (range, 72%-91%). There was no significant difference between the residents' rested and the postcall SAGAT scores (P = 0.99).

Conclusions: From this study, the resident SA in a trauma simulation does not seem to be affected by 1 night of sleep deprivation, as demonstrated by the lack of significant difference in SAGAT scores; however, more research in this area is needed.

Level of evidence: Prognostic Level IV. See Instructions for Authors for a complete description of levels of evidence.

MeSH terms

  • Awareness
  • Clinical Competence*
  • Health Knowledge, Attitudes, Practice
  • Humans
  • Internship and Residency*
  • Manikins
  • Patient Care
  • Random Allocation
  • Sleep Deprivation / psychology*
  • Task Performance and Analysis
  • Wounds and Injuries / therapy*