Reducing noise in the operating room improves children’s behavior after surgery, research shows

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According to research presented at the 2022 Annual Meeting of Anesthesiology, reducing noise levels in the operating room (OR) can have a positive effect on child behavior, including reduced tantrums and increased desire to eat in the days following surgery and anesthesia.

Excessive noise in the operating room is a prominent complaint among patients and health care professionals, especially during induction and recovery. general anesthesia. High noise levels can disturb patients, increase their anxiety and negatively affect them patient safety and comfort.

“The period before, during and after surgery is a particularly unpredictable time for parents,” said Nguyen Tram, Ph.D., lead study author and research fellow at Nationwide Children’s Hospital, Columbus, Ohio. “By applying some small measures in the operating room, we found that we were able to markedly improve some of this uncertainty for parents in key behavioral areas such as mood, eating and interaction.”

In a study of 64 children of preschool age (at the age of 4 to 5 years) passes general anesthesia for tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy or dental procedures lasting at least 30 minutes were randomized to either a “reduced noise” group, which had low lighting, muted communication devices, and fewer OR staff, or a control group (33 in the reduced noise group vs 31 inches control group). All patients were given a standard oral sedative before induction of anesthesia.

Behavior was assessed using the Induction Compliance Checklist, which measures adverse behavior during induction of anesthesia; Modified Yale Preoperative Anxiety Scale, which assesses anxiety in children in the preoperative period; and the Posthospitalization Behavior Questionnaire, which assesses new changes in children’s behavior after hospitalization and after surgery. A post-hospitalization behavior questionnaire was completed by parents on the first and fifth postoperative days.

Results of a post-hospital behavior questionnaire showed that children in the low-noise group had fewer tantrums, less food fussing and more interest in their surroundings in the first five days after surgery. No statistically significant differences were found between the two groups in other assessments. Researchers believe that a quiet environment can have a positive effect on children’s behavior after general anesthesia, just as most people need a quiet environment for a good night’s sleep.

“For the first time, we have been able to show how reducing noise levels in the operating room can improve postoperative behavior in children in the first few days after general anesthesia,” said Dr. Tram. “Excessive noise not only directly affects patients, but can potentially affect patient safety by impairing communication with providers and recognition of audible and visual alarms during the critical induction period. Future research is needed to determine the best way to optimize the operative and postoperative environment to improve patient outcomes after surgery and anesthesia.”


Preschool children who experience postoperative delirium have no long-term consequences


Courtesy of the American Society of Anesthesiologists

Citation: Reducing operating room noise improves children’s behavior after surgery, study finds (October 24, 2022) Retrieved October 24, 2022 from https://medicalxpress.com/news/2022-10-noise-room-children-behavior -surgery.html

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