“Unnecessary noise is the cruellest absence of care which can be inflicted either on sick or on well.” —Florence Nightingale, 1859
Can you imagine the impact of noise in the operating room? There are aspects influencing the operating room (OR) efficiency, which are not as well-known as the infection risk but have a high impact as well. However, several studies show the adverse effects high noise levels can have in an operating theatre setting such as1:
- It was reported that noise in the operating room could cause permanent psychological stress within the staff
- Distractions lead to negative impact in communications amongst the operating room nurses / teams
- It is noteworthy that studies have identified miscommunication as one of the leading root causes of error and poor patient outcomes. An astonishing 83% of healthcare staff asked in a survey, published in 2016, thought that noise in the operating room contributed to human errors.
The following infographic summarizes the harmfulness of noise pollution in operating rooms: