Auditory warning signals are considered by the anaesthetist team as a major source of annoyance and confusion in the operating room. An ergonomic approach was carried out in order to analyze the pertinence of the auditory warning signals emitted during anesthesia progress in three French hospitals taking into account each phase of the anaesthesia procedure. The results showed significantly higher frequencies of warning signals during induction and emergence phases. However the alarms were often ignored during these two phases as they occurred as a result of deliberate anaesthetist actions. Most of them were then considered as nuisance alarms.
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