Scalpel, clamp, and…turn up the volume, please

By: December 2nd, 2010 Email This Post Print This Post

Noise in the operating room (OR) could be a problem, a detriment even to healthcare workers or patient safety.

But the mega-decibel hazards are probably not coming from high-tech bells and whistles or deafening bone-cutting saws; more likely it’s from the head-banging volume level of Led Zeppelin’s  “Stairway to Heaven,” which the surgeon is grooving on.

A recent poll by Outpatient Surgery asked: Is noise pollution a problem in your ORs?

It was not a problem for 20% of respondents. But 31% identified loud music as the top noise pollution problem in ORs.

Non-essential chit-chat was the second cause of noise problems at 27%, followed by medical equipment and devices, 16%, and beepers and cell phones, 6%.

Does anyone know a surgeon who likes operating to the Muzak version of “Silence is Golden”?

What other noise hazards have you encountered in healthcare? Let us know in the comment section below.


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