O.R. Radio Seen as Threat

Evamarie Malsch, M.D.

To the Editor

Several recent letters addressed the dangerous distraction by noise in the operating room. Many of the devices that produce the noise or alarm are necessary equipment for the task.

However, one piece of equipment does nothing to improve patient care, but is greatly distracting: the radio. It irritates by its noise (commercials, news, etc.), and also raises the general noise level. It forces people to speak louder to be heard and thereby makes communication among the anesthesia team members more difficult. If one is concerned about patient safety, a radio has no place in the operating room.

Evamarie Malsch, M.D.

Associate Professor, Department of Anesthesia

Medical College of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA