Medical Errors And Loud Music in the Operating Room
In 1999, The Institute of Medicine released a paper citing that 44,000 to 98,000 deaths in the U.S. are caused by medical errors. More detail about the study is available here. Earlier this year, the British Medical Journal (BMJ) released an update which reported that this number could now be as high as 245,000, making medical error the third leading cause of death in the United States. Yikes!
So, What Gives?
Why are doctors making so many mistakes? On Straight Talk MD, we’ve recently asked many experts this question, and we’ve received a variety of answers. One important factor is the sheer number of distractions that exist in the operating room. In episode twenty-one, “Distracted Doctoring”, Michelle Feil exposes many revealing truths about the conditions in which doctors operate. She cites that magazines, social media, and phone calls are common distractions in the operating room during surgery.
Pulling Back The Curtains
Those of us who have never been inside an operating room would be shocked. Surgery is not how it is depicted on television, demanding intense focus and clear communication at all times. In reality, surgery can have a lot of downtime for many team members, as they are only required at critical moments. Even those who are actively engaged in the the operation feel the need to stave off the monotony of performing the same routine tasks every day.
Loud Music In The Operating Room
Feil explains that loud music is a common distraction that is particularly egregious. Loud music can be very distracting for many doctors, but professional politics prevent them from stopping it altogether. Sometimes doctors don’t get along with each other, and Feil cites several cases where doctors felt that they were intentionally being targeted with music that they felt was distracting and irritating.
To learn more about distractions in the operating room, patient safety, and how we can improve medical care in the United States, check out some of these recent episodes: