Friday, May 27, 2005

Music to My Ears

This Washinton Times article (registration required) reviews the recent study from Yale that found music playing in the operating room decreased patients' needs for sedation during surgery. The newspaper article isn't specific, but the study looked at sedation needs in patients undergoing spinal anesthesia, and found less sedation was needed for patients exposed to music in the OR. What's not spelled out is what kind of music was playing --- Sinatra, AC/DC, Muzak? As both a surgeon and a person who has been the recipient of several lovely incisions, I think music helps everybody in the OR, including the patient. I have had one operation done under spinal anesthesia, and I don't think I'd have enjoyed it much without the distraction of a few tunes playing in the background.

We have a stereo in the main OR my group uses, and when I'm there we are pretty much always listening to something. The only rules I have are :

  1. No rap
  2. No opera
  3. No country (except maybe a little Lyle Lovett or Willie Nelson)
  4. Nothing too "loud" for patients having a spinal or local anesthetic with sedation
  5. Absolutely, positively, no radio --- I can't stand to hear the "chatter" from the morning radio hosts!
Unfortunately, there is no way to get XM or Sirius reception, as this room is in the center of the building. We listen to Norah Jones, Crowded House, The Boneshakers, Stevie (Ray Vaughn and Wonder), Holst, Diana Krall, George Winston, pre-terrorist-worries Cat Stevens (what can I say; I'm a product of my youth), and even a little Pink Floyd in the wee hours of the morning. I have zero musical talent, but cannot imagine working in an environment where music wasn't allowed!

Hat tip to Kitty for the note!