A wry view of life for the world-weary

Revelation Of The Week


I’ve not given it much thought before but what does go on in an operating theatre whilst you are laid out on the slab having your innards manipulated? You’d like to think that you were surrounded by a team of consummate professionals whose only focus was to cut you open, do what was necessary and sew you back up with the minimum of fuss.

But if some research published in the Journal of Advanced Nursing this week is to be believed, there’s a disco going on. Of twenty operations lasting 35 hours in total, 70% were performed to background music. Proponents of the use of background music claim that it can be helpful in drowning out background noise – like your moanings as you come round from the anaesthetics unexpectedly – and can increase concentration.

But the researchers who snooped on the goings-on in the operating theatres found that the level at which the music was played could lead to an increase in miscommunication between the team at best or, at worst, the need to repeat key instructions. There appeared to be a tendency to crank up the volume when a particular favourite was played, enhancing these risks, and a choice of music which was not universally popular with the team could lead to friction and unnecessary tensions. Yikes! Drum ‘n’bass and dance music seem to be particular favourites.

It begs the question, if you had the choice, what music would you want to be operated to. M C Hammer’s Inside Out or Anyone Who Had A Heart by Cilla, the girl from Liverpool who lived in Spain, or Pink Floyd’s Breathe (in the air) might just fit the bill! Another question for the consent form, methinks.


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