SDW news brief: Risk of surgical infection rises with OR noise levels

Staff Development Weekly: Insight on Evidence-Based Practice in Education, July 1, 2011

A link on an infection surveillance website seemed to scream "Click Me!" It read: Noise could be responsible for surgical site infections.

What? Could sound level in the operating room be an infection culprit?

"Yes it can," say researchers from the Berne University Hospital in Switzerland, reporting in a recent issue of the British Journal of Surgery.

Over the years, researchers have considered many possible causes for increases for these troublesome nosocomials, and some have been shown to be influential, including: the number of people in the operating room, the length of the surgical procedure, increased body mass index, degree of existing disease in the patient, loss of blood, the amount of tissue exposed, and so on

They've also considered the type of scrubs worn, the pre-operative scrubbing techniques, sanitization, tools and devices used during the procedure and the list goes on.

But of all the areas on that long list, rarely has noise level been considered.

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Source: HealthLeaders Media