Green light for surgeons ‘cuts fatigue’


Date: 19-01-2018

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.

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.