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Hospital Records Responds to Claims That Surgeons Shouldn't Blast Drum and Bass during Operations

Do skanking and scalpels mix? The debate rages on.

by Jemayel Khawaja
07 August 2015, 4:19pm

Photo via SurgeRadio

A study undertaken in the United Kingdom by the National Journal of Nurses and brought to light by The Independent put cameras in hospital operating theaters to measure the effect of music on efficiency during surgery, a practice that occurs in 50-70% of operations worldwide.

Over 35 hours of footage was recorded, during which music was played during 16 of the 20 operations. The study found that dance music, particularly drum and bass, which was played the loudest, resulted in adverse effects on surgeon and nurse performance.

The recordings showed drum and bass to be a detriment to communication levels, resulting in staff repeating themselves and thus risking patient safety.

Above: A surgeon's assistant DJ's "a sick jump-up set" on Serato while his colleagues perform surgery.

The Royal College of Surgeons refutes this claim, as does the drum and bass community at large––a group usually more concerned with what precedes a stay in the hospital, particularly the raise in gunfinger crime within UK suburbs.

We reached out to UK label Hospital Records for comment: "It's been proved time and time again that music can ease anxiety and increase concentration, which is why music was has played a part in Hospital theaters since as early as 1914," says Head of Promotions Amy Jayne.

Hospital Records at the Brixton Academy

"We love it when surgeons get in touch to commend the Hospital Podcast and let us know they are listening in the operating theatre," she continues. "To someone not familiar with the label, this may generate a peculiar image ––doctors raving it up in their scrubs, gun fingers and scalpels thrown about all over, but dance music creates a positive and uplifting energy, which can obviously be appreciated in what can be a very bleak situation."

Jayne concluded with a prescription of her own. "The highly-trained sonic surgeons at Hospital Records always prescribe a daily dose of 174 BPM as part of a healthy lifestyle. However, it goes without saying that in all circumstances safety comes first. Trust us. We're doctors." Jayne's final claim is unverified by THUMP.

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drum and bass
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