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Surg Endosc. 2007 Nov;21(11):1965-9. Epub 2007 May 5.

Safety, hazards and ergonomics in the operating room.

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  • 1Experimental-OR & Ergonomics, University Hospital Tuebingen, Tuebingen, Germany.



The objective for this study was to address the lack of information regarding the working conditions in the operating room (OR). Safety issues in the OR need to be discussed not only for the sake of patients, but also for personnel, as hazards may occur for all persons within the OR.


To evaluate the workplace conditions in the operating room, a survey was conducted among surgeons working in German hospitals. Sixty questions were asked regarding the personal profile, the architectural situation, the devices and instruments as well as working posture and associated pain.


The survey showed elementary ergonomic deficiencies within all fields. Surgeons stated that these deficiencies lead to potential hazards for patients and personnel, potentially on a frequent basis. 97% of the surveyed surgeons see ergonomic improvement in the operating room as necessary.


The survey results display a high potential for improvement within all fields. Therefore, industry, surgeons and their professional organizations are asked to work on the optimization of the workplace conditions in the operating room in terms of improvement of quality and efficiency.

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