Volume 10, No. 2 • Summer 1995

Reading Debate Shows Bias

Trey Flewellen, M.D.

To the Editor

Attacks against the practice of anesthesia personnel reading in the OR certainly are biased. I agree that the practice is detrimental to a positive image of the vigilant anesthesiologist or anesthetist.

If reading is detrimental, why is not any conversation with other persons in the OR, surgeon and nurses, over topics usually unrelated to patient care just as onerous? Is listening to music or daydreaming about our daily lives to be condemned? Should telephone conversation be prohibited? Does not conversational teaching with a resident detract from vigilance? Does fatigue diminish vigilance?

Where is the data to support the contention that reading or any other distraction from direct patient care mentioned influences outcome?

Any legislation concerning vigilance should be taken very cautiously; we do not need any more ammunition for plaintiffs’ lawyers to use against us.

Trey Flewellen, M.D., DABA Carrollton, TX