Detrimental effects of noise on anaesthetists

  • V. S. S. N. Murthy
  • S. K. Malhotra
  • I. Bala
  • M. Raghunathan
Reports of Investigation

Abstract

To study the detrimental effects of operating room noise, noise levels in operating rooms were first measured and the average noise level was calculated in Decibels, which was 77.32 dB(A). An audiocassette of 90 min duration was prepared recording the operating room noise. The same audiocassette was used later to expose the 20 anaesthesia residents to the operating room noise in the acoustically treated rooms of audiology department. The noise level during exposure was maintained at 77.32 dB(A). Two cognitive functions, mental efficiency and short-term memory were studied. The tests used were the Trail Making Test and Digit Symbol Test for mental efficiency and the Benton Visual Retention Test for short-term memory. The mean pre-exposure scores for the Trail Making Test, Digit Symbol Test and Benton Visual Retention Test were 22.9± 1.94, 83± 2.62 and 9.55± 0.51 respectively. The mean during-exposure scores were 16.35± 1.39, 74.05± 3.46 and 5.8± 0.41 respectively (P < 0.05). In conclusion, we observed that operating room noise reduced the mental efficiency and short-term memory of anaesthesia residents.

Key words

Hearing: noise Operating Rooms: noise Measurement Techniques: cognition, noise Memory 

Résumé

Pour étudier en salle d’opération ses effets nocifs, le niveau du bruit a été établi à une valeur moyenne de 77,32 dB(A) calculée en décibels. Les bruits de la salle d’opération ont ensuite été enregistré apendant 90 min sur audiocassette. Grâce à celle-ci, on a pu exposer 20 résidents en anesthésie aux bruits de la salle d’opération dans la salle acoustique du département d’audiologie. Pendant cette expérience, le niveau de bruit a été maintenu à 77,32 dB(A). Deux fonctions cognitives, l’efficience mentale et la mémoire à court terme ont été étudiées. L’efficience mentale a été évaluée avec le test du tracé à la main et le test des symboles numériques, et la mémoire à court terme, avec le test de rétention visuelle de Benton. Avant l’exposition au bruit, les scores moyens pour le test du tracé, pour le test des symboles numériques et pour le test de rétention visuelle de Benton étaient respectivement de 22,9± 1,94, de 83± 2,62, et de 9,55± 0,51. Durant l’exposition au bruit, la moyenne des scores se situait à 16,35± 1,39, à 74,05± 3,46 et à 5,80± 0,41 respectivement (P < 0,05). En conclusion, nous avons observé que le bruit de la salle d’opération diminuait l’efficience mentale et la mémoire à court terme des résidents en anesthésie.

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Copyright information

© Canadian Anesthesiologists 1995

Authors and Affiliations

  • V. S. S. N. Murthy
    • 1
  • S. K. Malhotra
    • 1
  • I. Bala
    • 1
  • M. Raghunathan
    • 1
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of AnaesthesiaPGIMERChandigarhIndia
  2. 2.Departments of OtolaryngologyPGIMERChandigarhIndia

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