Am I missing something?

The cover of this week’s Lancet, in bold: “No doctor should be practicing, even after that single glass of cold Chardonnay”.

This refers to a brief editorial on the topic, “Just one before the scalpel“. In that editorial, the Lancet states:

“The individual response to alcohol varies greatly, depending on sex, body size, eating food, taking other drugs (eg, antihistamines), and the complexity of the impending task. Because of the unpredictability of the response, no alcohol in the blood when on call must become the norm. Indeed, other professions face that stricture. For example, UK pilots are not meant to fly for at least 8 h after drinking even small amounts. US pilots face stricter rules: no drinking within 8 h of take-off.”

Now let’s see. No drinking within 8h of take-off is stricter than not flying for at least 8h after drinking. Am I missing something? Or have the proof-readers at the Lancet been sneaking off to their local pub?

3 thoughts on “Am I missing something?

  1. garden girl

    Perhaps the difference is in how that rule is stated and enforced rather than in the actual time limit which is the same. According to your summary, the UK rule states “aren’t meant to…” meaning shouldn’t whereas the US rule states can’t meaning aren’t allowed which is, in fact, a stricter governance. Then again it could be, as you suggest, an error at the Editorial level of the Lancet.

  2. neeraj manikath

    ya you are right
    i too noticed it while reading, No drinking within 8h of take-off is stricter than not flying for at least 8h after drinking
    so i think it should be No drinking within 8h of prrof reading is better than not proof reading for at least 8h after drinking
    love nrm

  3. Nick

    Maybe this has to do with those pilots who fly along as passengers, for the first leg of the trip? Eight hours before “flying” (ie taking over) could then, in fact, be a shorter duration than 8h before take-off (ie, the start of the first leg).

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