March 9, 2007 4:49 AM PST

Study: Cell phones safe to use in hospitals

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Walmart security almost gave me a heart attack.
I was walking through the gates at Walmart when the alarms went off. Just the sound stopped my heart. I guess I am a bit more twitchy than most people.
Posted by ralfthedog (1589 comments )
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walmart security
I've noticed that in small walmart stores, their alarm voice is lower in volume then in the super centers where they can't even hear themselves speak.
Posted by BeamerMT (64 comments )
Link Flag
As far as I know, most hospitals forbid cell phones out of respect for a patient. It's not so much the interference as the ringing, etc, that annoys people in every public place. Rather annoying to have a cell going off next to you when you're receiving a cancer diagnosis.

Posted by Netrilix (7 comments )
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Patient counseling in public area?
I agree, a cell phone ring can be annoying. In response to your statement though, I believe no patient should receive a cancer diagnosis (or diagnosis of any kind) in a lobby or other public spaces.
Cell phones should be treated like CD, MP3, etc players and should be used at tolerable volume levels and/or only in designated places.
I notice people usually use poor etiquette while on cell phones. That is a larger issue than the use itself and can be countered with better communication/education from the respected clinic.

Posted by mabarlow (3 comments )
Link Flag
Not really
I was in a hospital recently and the prominently displayed signs claimed that cell phones were banned due to interference with medical machines, not due to inconsideration in use.
I'm all for banning cell phones in places because people are frequently a**holes with them, but let's not cloak this in pseudo science with false claims.
Posted by skeptik (590 comments )
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But what about Wi-Fi ???
I am a consultant for nursing homes and do not want any liability for installing wi-fi in a nursing home. Does anyone know if there was a similar study about Wi-Fi, Wi-Max, or similar technologies?
Posted by toowit (2 comments )
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I believe wi-fi is safe (at least in normal areas)
I work in a clinic and not only is Wi-Fi being used, but it's application is becoming larger and larger.
With the Gov't mandate for the electronic record keeping, it is becoming increasingly apparent that a desktop (or even laptop) PC is just too cumbersome to use while you are seeing a patient. That being said, unless you right paper notes, you may forget a critical detail to log into the PC when you get back to it. For this reason, a lot of energy is being placed into making Palm (or other propriatary device) software which makes it easy to log patient encounters, order special studies, and check for medication conflicts right from your hand while seeing the patient. Even in Emergency Settings, many Ambulance Services have wireless laptops in the kits/rigs for transmitting data back to medical direction in the ER.
That all being said, I don't know much about the machanics of wi-fi, so I don't know if there are special considerations other than the obvious encryption/data integrity issues.
Heck, many malls and coffee shops are Wi-Fi areas... I haven't heard of anyones pacemaker failing due to stopping for coffee (I think it'd been on the news... aside from 24/7 Anna Nicole coverage...)

Posted by mabarlow (3 comments )
Link Flag
Phone works
Cell phone won't interfere..
if you think of how a Cell phone works.
A signal from a tower blasts out for your phone wether it is on or not, and when you answer it sustaines that signal with the tower. now if your OUTSIDE the hospital and the hospital is between you and a tower? obviously if hospital equipment reacted to cell phone use.. we would have major problems considering what i just said.
Posted by Catalyph (2 comments )
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Thank You
My Mom works in a Nursing Home and the boss is continously
******** at people for using mobile phones! Now maybe she'll be a
little more lenient with cell phone usage...But I doubt it.
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
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My local Kmart store used to have the LOUDEST and most sensitive
security alarm of any store I had ever been in. Seriously, it
sounded like a fire alarm all over the store...And went off every few
minutes. Thankfully they've since toned it down a notch.
Posted by PCCRomeo (432 comments )
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