Send to

Choose Destination
Rev Col Bras Cir. 2011 Sep-Oct;38(5):292-8.

Interruptions and distractions in the trauma operating room: understanding the threat of human error.

[Article in English, Portuguese]

Author information

Universidade Estadual de Campinas (UNICAMP), Campinas, São Paulo State, Brazil.



To understand the human factor as a threat to the security of trauma patients in the operating room, bringing to the operating room some important rules already applied in the field of aviation.


The sample included 50 cases of surgical trauma patients prospectively collected by observers in shifts of 12 hours, for six months in a Level I trauma center in the United States of America. Information regarding the type of trauma, severity score and mortality were collected, as well as determinants of distractions / interruptions and the volume of noise in the operating room during surgery.


There was an average of 60 interruptions or distractions during surgery, most often triggered by the movement of people in the room. In more severe patients (ISS> 45), subjected to damage control, the incidence of distractions was even greater. The average noise in the trauma surgery room was very high, close to the noise of a hair dryer.


Interruptions and distractions are frequent and should be studied by the trauma surgeon to develop prevention strategies and lines of defense to minimize them and reduce their effects.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free full text

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Scientific Electronic Library Online
Loading ...
Support Center