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Green Light for Surgery

Green light for surgery

Denmark is leading the way with LED lighting designed to make hospitals better for patients and medical staff. Hospitals have installed lighting that can be ‘colour tuned’ or have the colour temperature of the light adjusted to suit the natural rhythms of the day. But some Danish hospitals have taken the idea of colour tuning to another level and are using actual coloured light to improve visual comfort and make it easier to focus on crucial details on screens.

Highlight what matters

For instance, instead of having intense white light everywhere in an operating theatre when the surgeon is using a monitor to perform keyhole surgery, the ambient light is green, with some white light focused on the nurse’s equipment tray. The patient’s skin also has this targeted high CRI white light so that the anesthetist can monitor skin tone. The idea is that the surgeon is not distracted by light and gets less fatigued. Similarly, areas in the Silkeborg Regional Hospital that contain screens for ultrasounds, x-rays, MRIs and CT scans use ambient coloured light such as purple to eliminate reflection and glare. This helps highlight the imagery that matters on the screen and help clinical staff make more accurate diagnoses.

Soothing scenario

The patient experience is also carefully considered with warm light greeting patients when they enter the operating theatre. This creates a calming mood and encourages feelings of safety. The same soothing lighting scenario is used during awakening.

Danish innovation

The lighting has been implemented in intensive care at Odense University Hospital and University Hospital in Svendborg as well as in five operating rooms and intensive care at the Silkeborg Regional Hospital. Perhaps because of their experience of long dark winters, the Danes are clearly open to the idea of human centric lighting and are proving to be innovators in the field.

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