Comment: Ask most surgeons about their operating theatres, and they will describe them as havens from the stresses and pressures of a busy clinical practice. The theatre protects them from the interruptions of telephone calls, the demands of patients and their relatives, and the politics of medicine. It is a microcosm where a surgeon may rule autocratically. Within reason, most theatre personnel would gladly accommodate any means that might diminish the stress or enhance the smooth running of an operation. Techniques such as dimming the lights, decreasing human traffic, eating lollies and playing music are common practices in operating theatres.
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