A surgeon hit the headlines recently for attending a court hearing via Zoom. He was operating on a patient at the same time. Many people believe they can multitask. Yet, there is ample evidence that doing more than one thing at once leads to poorer results.
Increasingly, cellular technology is causing a problem in the operating theater.
Cellphones in the operating theater jeopardize patient safety
Think about the last time you went for coffee with a friend, and they spent time checking their phone. Did you feel they were giving you their full attention? Phone use by operating theater staff is common. You cannot tell how much attention the surgical staff gives you if you are under anesthesia.
A recent study looked at the use of phones during cardiovascular surgery. The report found that, on average, there were four calls during a surgery. The majority were incoming calls. Theater staff answered half of them. The average time spent on the phone was 46 seconds. They found the most significant distraction was to the surgeons themselves.
If you have ever used your phone while cooking dinner, chances are you have ruined the food at least once. The phone takes your attention away from cooking. Suppose a police officer sees you driving while on the phone. They may arrest you in most states because studies show using the phone while driving makes a crash more likely. Using a phone distracts you from whatever else you are doing.
When you’ve been injured by a surgical mistake, take action
Few medical situations carry as much responsibility as surgery. Why is it acceptable for surgeons and other staff to use their phones in the operating theater? If you suffered harm due to an error during surgery, seek help to investigate how it happened. If the staff were using their phones, you might want to claim medical malpractice.