Editorial  |   June 2018
The Physician Anesthesiologist and Growing Use of Electronic Devices in the O.R.
Author Affiliations
  • N. Martin Giesecke, M.D.
Article Information
Technology / Equipment / Monitoring / Editorial
Editorial   |   June 2018
The Physician Anesthesiologist and Growing Use of Electronic Devices in the O.R.
ASA Monitor 6 2018, Vol.82, 4-5.
ASA Monitor 6 2018, Vol.82, 4-5.
These days, it is likely that the majority of physician anesthesiologists are users of personal electronic devices (PEDs) in the O.R. There are those who are against this practice. They obviously have some compelling arguments. Nevertheless, there are also those who support this action, and they are eager to pronounce the many benefits of this proliferation of PEDs in the O.R. Though this topic has been covered before in this editorial series, how about joining me as we take another look at the use of electronic media by physician anesthesiologists?
Standing only on principle, some folks refuse to allow consideration of the use of PEDs in the O.R. The principle here is that physician anesthesiologists should not allow distractions there. Distractions decrease vigilance; thus, they should be avoided. Thus, just as no anesthesiologist should read a book, a newspaper or do a crossword puzzle, no physician anesthesiologist should allow him/herself to be distracted by the use of a PED. Though there have been too few studies of PED use behavior in the O.R. to confirm, or refute, this hypothesis, there is mounting circumstantial evidence that spending too much time paying attention to one’s smartphone detracts from one’s vigilance while providing an anesthetic.
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