Green light for surgeons ‘cuts fatigue’

A Danish hospital is experimenting with saturated colour in its operating theatre in a bid to reduce the fatigue of surgeons and nurses and improve visual comfort during critical medical procedures.

The keyhole surgery room at the University Hospital in Aarhus features LED panels with both colour-tuning and central downlight consisting of an LED array. Green light is used during keyhole surgery to cut fatigue while cool white light with high colour rendering is used for open surgery.

A soothing, warm lighting setting is used for the checking-in of the patient.

When patients first enter the space, the ‘check-in’ lighting scene is a soothing, warm light which creates a feeling of safety and sets a pleasant mood during patient arrival and awakening.

All scenarios – which are selected using a simple touch panel – were devised in consultation with the consultant surgeon Henrik Vad and department nurse Annette Johnsen.

During the coloured lighting settings, practitioners who require optimal visual conditions and white, high colour rendering lighting have access to it. For instance, the anesthesia nurses use the targeted point illumination from the light above the bed to monitor the patient appearance and skin tones.

The same direct white light is available along the walls of the operating theatre, where the light makes the nurses' working conditions visible and minimises the risk of errors.

The lighting equipment was supplied by Danish lighting manufacturer Lightcare, which is becoming a specialist in so-called human-centric lighting. The company is currently installing similar colour-tuning lighting systems at 26 wards in the New University Hospital in Skejby and it has already implemented it in five operating rooms and the intensive section at the Regional Hospital in Silkeborg, the intensive section of Odense University Hospital and University Hospital in Svendborg.

  • Lux is organised two conferences on Lighting for Health and Wellbeing in 2018. The first takes place in Newport Beach, California on 18 July and the second takes place  on Wednesday 26 September 2018 in London. For more information on both events and to view the full programme, click HERE.

Comments 1

The idea is brilliant but I dare point out a caveat; To qualify it, I add that I studied this subject for over half a century and one of my teachers was the late John Ott (most regular readers would know about him, but for the few younger ones who don't: https:/www.ottlite.com/Our-Story/Dr-Ott-The-Original). Lighting the background in green, especially primary, will have an excellent effect on the operating team; an even better one can be obtained by slowly cycling a color temperature variation by 500 to 1000 Kelvin degrees from above to below the pure primary green. My esperiments in lighting computer work spaces have borne this out but in that case I applied an even wider excursion between pink and emerald, of about 4000 Kelvin. I suggest 10 to 15 minutes for a full cycle, which will achieve an optimum balance between ease and alertness. Tha caveat is that the surgeon must still have a full spectrum or at least daylight white between 5200 to 5700 Kelvin spotlighting the operating area, because the precise color of the organ and flesh being operated on is an essential diagnostic element, especially in oncology but really in most other surgeries as well; what happens with deuteranope and tritanope surgeons I cannot imagine, but I do hope that they are flaked by at least a team member possessing full chromatic discrimination and depend on such member for assistance when needed. There are now spectrum shifting, dychroic filter based chromatic correcting glasses, at least according to their producers' commercial claims; the most popular are from enchroma.com but I have never experienced them and cannot say how well they work until I do; as a light saturation deuteranope and a visual artist I would certainly be able to tell by just trying them on a set of Ishihara plates which to the best of my knowledge still guarantee an optimal assessment. I am available to provide this assessment for any Israel based researcher who will provide glasses and plates as an exchange for my performing the test, in whose results I am deeply interested; I have traveled several times in the past to the Lightwave Research labs in Austin, TX to study and experiment with Dychroic filters (incidentally my chosen Hebrew last name Gal-Or means Lightwave, which has been my art name since the late Sixties in Canada). I will welcome all feedback to this comment at pizzarebbe@gmail.com +972586272388 or Skype: pizzarebbe

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