There are few places where proper lighting is more crucial than in a surgical operating room. Without proper visibility and illumination to support the efforts of the staff, one wrong move could lead to catastrophic results for patients. When it comes to operating room lighting, there are a few matters to keep in mind to choose the right solutions. While the medical grade, examination system or surgical light head will act as the main source of surgical table light, considerations should still be given to the other lighting elements in the room. Proper lighting is always achieved in layers with several different components working together to achieve the overall lighting effect. Here are a few suggestions to master this tricky area of lighting.
- When choosing the general lighting elements for this area, fixtures should always be ceiling mounted. This area of the hospital shouldn’t have any extra items taking up floor space or being positioned in a way that they create a hazard. While you could use other types of fixtures, the best choice is definitely recessed options for a smooth look that is easy to clean. More importantly, recessed lighting fixtures create fewer shadows than a surface mounted or pendant mounted fixture.
- Choose multiple lamp options to avoid total lamp failure. If a lamp burns out in a single lamp unit, the whole fixture is disabled. With multiple lamp options, some of the illumination may become diminished, but not all of it which is helpful.
- In an operating room, heat is a problem due to the sensitive nature of the work being performed. Excessive heat from lamps can lead to overheated staff, higher levels of distractions, and patient discomfort. The key is to choose overhead lights that offer low heat emissions such as LED solutions. It should also be noted that lighting should be chosen that is low in UV energy emissions to avoid affecting the tissue of an open body cavity or disrupting body temperature which can lead to severe consequences.
- While shatterproof and vapor proof lighting is usually used in areas dealing with chemicals, it makes perfect sense in this setting as well. If an overhead lens were to shatter for some reason in this scenario, it could lead to dire consequences. A shatterproof overhead light directly over the surgical table can add peace of mind for the staff and patient.
- Choose a cooler color index for the best visibility. While you want to stay away from too much bluish light, white light will give a more unobstructed view of the task at hand and less of a colored filter appearance than having warmer light tones. A good rule of thumb for overhead operating room lighting is to aim for around 5000 Kelvins.