“Cell phone use while performing cardiopulmonary bypass” #cardiology

Not quite like a trip to the ATM during surgery, but…

Not really Boston related, but stumbled on it and thought you should know.

From the journal Perfusion.

2010 survey on cell phone use while performing
cardiopulmonary bypass. Smith T, Darling E, Searles B.

SUNY Upstate Medical
University in Syracuse, NY, USA.


Cell phone use in the U.S. has increased dramatically over the past decade and text
messaging among adults is now mainstream. In professions such as perfusion,
where clinical vigilance is essential to patient care, the potential
distraction of cell phones may be especially problematic. However, the extent
of this as an issue is currently unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study
was to (1) determine the frequency of cell phone use in the perfusion community,
and (2) to identify concerns and opinions among perfusionists regarding cell
phone use. In October 2010, a link to a 19-question survey (surveymonkey.com)
was posted on the AmSECT (PerfList) and Perfusion.com (PerfMail) forums. There
were 439 respondents. Demographic distribution is as follows; Chief
Perfusionist (30.5%), Staff Perfusionist (62.0%), and Other (7.5%), with age
ranges of 20-30 years (14.2%), 30-40 years (26.5%), 40-50 years (26.7%), 50-60
years (26.7%), >60 years (5.9%). The use of a cell phone during the
performance of cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB) was reported by 55.6% of
perfusionists. Sending text messages while performing CPB was acknowledged by
49.2%, with clear generational differences detected when cross-referenced with
age groups. For smart phone features, perfusionists report having accessed
e-mail (21%), used the internet (15.1%), or have checked/posted on social
networking sites (3.1%) while performing CPB. Safety concerns were expressed by
78.3% who believe that cell phones can introduce a potentially significant
safety risk to patients. Speaking on a cell phone and text messaging during CPB
are regarded as “always an unsafe practice” by 42.3% and 51.7% of
respondents, respectively. Personal distraction by cell phone use that
negatively affected performance was admitted by 7.3%, whereas witnessing
another perfusionist distracted with phone/text while on CPB was acknowledged
by 33.7% of respondents. This survey suggests that the majority of
perfusionists believe cell phones raise significant safety issues while
operating the heart-lung machine. However, the majority also have used a cell
phone while performing this activity. There are clear generational differences
in opinions on the role and/or appropriateness of cell phones during bypass.
There is a need to further study this issue and, perhaps, to establish
consensus on the use of various communication modes within the perfusion


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