Evidence supports premise: OR distractions up surgical errors

December 6, 2012

(HealthDay)—Typical operating room distractions and interruptions (ORDIs) potentially increase the likelihood of surgical errors among surgical trainees, according to a study published in the November issue of the Archives of Surgery.

Robin L. Feuerbacher, Ph.D., from Oregon State University in Corvallis, and colleagues assessed whether realistic ORDIs induce errors in a simulated surgical procedure performed by 18 second-year, third-year, and research-year . During the critical stages of a simulated laparoscopic cholecystectomy, four distractions and two interruptions were simulated, based on nine months of observations. The participants were assigned a task prior to the simulated procedure.

The researchers found that major surgical errors were committed in 44 percent of simulated procedures with ORDIs (all of which occurred after 1 p.m.) and 6 percent of procedures without ORDIs (P = 0.02), with the most errors caused by interrupting questions, followed by sidebar conversations. Fifty-six percent of those with ORDIs forgot the prospective memory task, compared with 22 percent of those without ORDIs (P = 0.04).

"This study provided statistically significant evidence to support the hypothesis that realistic ORDIs increase the likelihood of errors in a simulated laboratory setting with novice surgeons," the authors write.

Explore further: Young surgeons face special concerns with operating room distractions

More information: Abstract
Full Text (subscription or payment may be required)

Related Stories

Recommended for you

International study proves old blood is as good as new

October 24, 2016

It's been long thought that when blood transfusions are needed, it may be best to use the freshest blood, but McMaster University researchers have led a large international study proving that it is not so.

Study finds mixed results for use of mesh for hernia repair

October 18, 2016

Among patients undergoing incisional hernia repair, the use of mesh to reinforce the repair was associated with a lower risk of hernia recurrence over 5 years compared with when mesh was not used, although with long-term ...

Traditional surgery style worthwhile, says piles trial

October 10, 2016

Results of a five year trial on haemorrhoids (commonly known as piles), jointly sponsored by NHS Highland and the University of Aberdeen, have this week been published in The Lancet, one of the world's oldest and best known ...


Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.