Ergonomic problems encountered by the medical team related to products used for minimally invasive surgery

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Abstract

Background: The aim of this study is to gain insight into the problems encountered by the medical team related to products used for minimally invasive surgery.Methods: An inventory was made of the problems encountered during 12 endoscopic operations performed in one city hospital (Eindhoven, the Netherlands). After the observation, a questionnaire was distributed to all medical staff involved. Results: All categories of personnel had physical, perceptional, and cognitive problems, especially surgeons, residents, and the sterile operation nurse. The main causes were the positioning of apparatus and staff, work clothing, and the limited reach of apparatus and/or instruments. Of the questionnaires, 80% were returned: 50% of the medical staff experienced perceptional problems and 63% had physical discomfort during the surgical procedure. Conclusion: The diversity of problems observed and/or reported by the staff during minimally invasive surgery decrease the comfort, efficiency, and safety of the operating-room work environment. Therefore, a new design approach is needed for MIS products in order to address the problems that occur with the current equipment.