Hazards of Working in the Operating Room


The practice of anesthesiology is associated with exposure to many potential hazards, both physical and psychological. Operating room (OR) personnel are routinely exposed to low levels of anesthetic gases, radiation, and infectious disease and occasionally to high levels of psychological stress. Anesthesiologists should be aware of these potential hazards so that they can take steps to mitigate these risks by the application of proper safety precautions.


OR hazards Anesthetic gas exposure Latex Stress Substance abuse Radiation exposure 

Further Reading

  1. 1.
    Alexander BH, Checkoway H, Nagahama SI, et al. Cause-specific mortality risks of anesthesiologists. Anesthesiology. 2000;93:1111.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. 2.
    Boivin JF. Risk of spontaneous abortion in women occupationally exposed to anaesthetic gases: a meta-analysis. Occup Environ Med. 1997;54:541.CrossRefPubMedCentralPubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. 3.
    Domino KB, Hornbein TF, Polissar NL, et al. Risk factors for health professionals with substance use disorders. JAMA. 2005;293:1453.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Howard SK, Rosekind MR, Katz JD, Berry AJ. Fatigue in anesthesia. Anesthesiology. 2002;97:1281–94.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Konrad C, Fieber T, Gerber H, et al. The prevalence of latex sensitivity among anesthesiology staff. Anesth Analg. 1997;84:629.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Stratmann G. Neurotoxicity of anesthetic drugs in the developing brain. Anesth Analg. 2011;113:5.Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Teschke K, Abanto Z, Arbour L, Beking K, Chow Y, Gallagher RP, et al. Exposure to anesthetic gases and congenital anomalies in the offspring of female nurses. Am J Ind Med. 2011;54:118–27.CrossRefPubMedGoogle Scholar
  8. 8.
    Zeckhausen W. Physician support groups: a place to turn. Fam Pract Manage. 1995;26–30.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnesthesiologyUniversity of Pittsburgh Medical Center, Presbyterian HospitalPittsburghUSA

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