8 Sep 2009

Doctors told to drink coffee to fight fatigue

10:04 pm on 8 September 2009

Australian doctors are up in arms over official guidelines that urge weary medics to drink six cups of coffee a day to fight off fatigue.

Part of the Queensland Health Department's 102-page fatigue management strategy recommends 400 milligrams of caffeine to keep doctors awake on the job. That is the equivalent of five or six cups of coffee, the ABC website reports.

A union representing Queensland doctors says public hospital patients have died because medics are being forced to work up to 72 hours without a break.

Salaried Doctors Queensland says the coffee suggestion is "absolutely ridiculous".