by Laura McFarland, Communications Director
According to a 2008 survey, operating room staff play music during about two thirds of surgeries, as reported in this year’s British Medical Journal’s Christmas issue, which reviews the history of music in the operating room.
Aside from a more general effect on health, numerous data specifically support music for patients having surgery under local or general anaesthesia. BMJ notes that in a randomised trial of 372 patients having elective surgery, relaxing melodies (60-80 bpm, mimicking the resting heart rate) proved to be superior to midazolam as a pre-anaesthetic anxiolytic. Combined data suggest that this calming effect is maintained before, during (when awake), and after surgery, with music faring better than noise blocking devices alone. For patients requiring further respiratory support postoperatively, music’s ability to reduce anxiety, heart rate, and respiratory rate extends even to ventilated patients in intensive care.
My son, delivered by C-section, was born to the sounds of Loverboy, “Working for the Weekend.” Personally I would have preferred something a little more classical, which is apparently the preferred genre. Its popularity may be in part due to the lack of lyrics, which alas rules out holiday carols. The Journal offers a number of suggestions and some understandable don’ts (REM’s “Everybody Hurts,” for instance) if readers find themselves needing to make a selection.
MCN wishes a joyful holiday season to all of our readers. We will be closed on Thursday, December 25th and Thursday, January 1st. To meet the needs of our clients, MCN is open during regular business hours throughout the rest of the season. Our 26 offices nationwide, including operational centers in Tampa, FL, Long Island, NY, Chicago, IL, and Seattle, WA, are seamlessly connected through one fully integrated database. Whatever the weather, MCN staff are available to answer client questions, receive referrals, and review and deliver reports from 8 am – 8 pm EST.