A mobile phone conversation can be a nuisance for uninvolved listeners. Credit: Stev, Photocase
Read out Mobile phone calls do not disturb the function of medical devices in hospitals. Researchers around Jeffrey Tri from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester have found this out in an investigation at their hospital. In three hundred tests, they found no evidence that a mobile phone affected ICU equipment and other areas of the hospital. The researchers are in favor of further investigations in order to secure their rather random sample. But the results probably boiled down to relaxing the cell phone ban in hospitals, so their conclusion. The researchers observed several typical situations of mobile phone use in hospitals, which is banned in almost all clinics. These included phone calls as they might lead patients or even visitors near medical devices. The researchers used two different mobile phones from different providers in these situations. In patient rooms and rooms of the intensive care unit, the physicians performed three hundred tests in the vicinity of a total of 192 medical devices, including, for example, observation monitors and infusion pumps. In no case did they find malfunctions or deviations from the normal function of the devices.

In response to the study, the Mayo Clinic is revising the mobile phone ban on its site, reports study co-author David Hayes. In a commentary, the anaesthesiologist John Abenstein of the Mayo Clinic is reassured that cell phones seem to have only a low risk for device function. However, he points out that there are many more mobile phone models and also medical devices than were tested in the investigation. Therefore, a malfunction can not be ruled out, even though the indications that a cell phone use in good distance to a device does no damage are summarized.

Jeffrey Tri (Mayo Clinic, Rochester) et al .: Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Vol. 82, p. 282 ddp / science.de? Martin Schäfer

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