Volume 6, No. 1 • Spring 1991

Radio Distracts, Competes; Should he Banned From OR

James M. Quinn, M.D.

To the Editor

Doctor Evamarie Malsch is absolutely correct with her statement that a radio has no place in the operating room.

As a specialty, we promote patient safety during anesthesia by advancing various monitoring standards. Yet, we allow auditory alarm signals to compete with the radio for our attention and subsequently our interaction. This extraneous sound can interfere with the ability to focus complete attention on our patients during critical points in their care.

This distraction extends to the surgical care team, as time is spent discussing channel changes, recording artists, etc. I feel this is a very real problem which needs to be addressed by the medical community before it is addressed by our insurance carriers and the legal profession.

James M. Quinn, M.D. The Cambridge Hospital Cambridge, MA