Effects of a Technical Solution on Stress of Surgical Staff in Operating Theatres


Background Noise in operating theaters (OT) exceeds safety standards with detrimental effects on the health and performance of OT crews as well as patient safety. One of the reasons for these effects is the stress response to noise, which could be minimized by the Silent Operating Theater Optimisation System (SOTOS), a noise reductive headset solution. Methods This study evaluates the effects of the SOTOS on the stress perceived by OT crew members, operationalized through stress level and exhaustion. Twenty-one heart surgeries and 32 robot-assisted prostatectomies at the University Medical Center Goettingen, Germany were examined. Twenty-six surgeries were conducted with and
27 without the SOTOS. The SOTOS-effect is defined as a more beneficial stress course from before to after surgery, when comparing the experimental group with and control group without SOTOS. Findings Eighty-one OT workers were investigated. The linear multilevel models revealed significant interactions between treatment and time of measurement on stress level (F[1, 406.66] ¼ 3.62, p ¼ 0.029) and exhaustion (F[1, 397.62] ¼ 13.12, p ¼ 0.00017). Nevertheless, there was no a significant main effect of surgery type on stress level (F[1, 82.69] ¼ 1.00, p ¼ 0.32) or on exhaustion (F[1, 80.61] ¼ 0.58, p ¼ 0.45). Additionally, no significant three-way interaction including surgery type, for stress level (F[1, 406.66] ¼ 0.32, p ¼ 0.29) or exhaustion (F[1, 397.62] ¼ 0.03, p ¼ 0.43), was found. Interpretation An SOTOS-effect was confirmed: the development of stress over the course of an operation was beneficially modified by the SOTOS. Both surgery types are perceived as similarly stressful, and the staff benefits equally strongly from the
intervention in both settings

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Patents Applied:


An apparatus for creating audio environments in an operating room is described. The device comprises a plurality of portable intercom units. The intercom units each have at least one microphone and one headphone, which are designed to suppress ambient noise. A mixer is in signal exchange with the plurality of intercom units and is designed for program-controlled signal transmission between the plurality of intercom units. Different control programs, each defining the program-controlled signal line, are stored in a memory. At least one of the control programs restricts the exchange of signals between the plurality of intercom units to form the audio environments. A controller determines one of the control programs and controls the mixer for the program-controlled signal line between the plurality of intercom units in accordance with the determined control program.

EP20213914.3: not published yet.

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