We all would agree that once in a while, during the course of an operation, we feel uneasy because of that little monster of a device…your cell phone starts ringing. The urge to pick up and answer the call often becomes insurmountable. We have all committed this “cardinal sin” of answering a call during surgery. A recent survey conducted in India showed that a “whopping 90% nurses and 50% technicians interviewed for the survey admitted to answering calls during surgery”. 10% of the doctors admitted to checking text messages during surgery.
I am sure that this number is an underestimate. I have seen almost everyone in my peer group taking calls during surgery. And this is not just what’s happening in my part of the world, mind you. New York Times also ran an article highlighting this issue.
I would also like you to have a look at this interesting discussion at AAOS Now.
It’s been my observation that the introduction of robotics has also made us “much more available” to take calls during surgery. What’s the take of the community on this issue? Is this an unnecessary fuss (considering that we tend to consider ourselves excellent at multitasking…) or is it an issue that needs to be addressed urgently?
Dr Tarun Jindal, MBBS, MS, MCh Urology
Consultant, AGHL, Kolkata, India