Smartphone Use in OR Prevalent Among Nurse Anesthetists, Surgeons

While the American Association of Nurse Anesthetists issued a policy in 2012 asking operating room staff members to only use smartphones for medical purposes, the practice of recreational phone use continues to be a problem, according to NPR.

A study found 55 percent of people who run heart-lung machines during bypass surgery had texted, emailed or used their phone for recreational use during a procedure. About 80 percent said cell phones created safety risks for patients, according to the report.

Nurse anesthetists use smartphones in the OR for useful tasks, such as looking up medications or rare diseases or even contacting patients' relatives. However, it's impossible to regulate when a person stops completing an essential task and moves on to a social one, said Lynn Reede, director of professional practice for the AANA.

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