Coloured lighting provides surgeons with enhanced working conditions

When surgeons at Sørlandet Hospital in Kristiansand perform endoscopic procedures, they can make use of new, specially designed lighting as a support in their work. 

It goes without saying that a surgeon must have the best possible work lighting. But when an operation is performed via a monitor, then normal hospital lighting with 1000 lux and 2800 kelvin is not necessarily the best choice. Sørlandet Hospital in Kristiansand has taken the consequences of this and during the last two years has carried out a comprehensive refurbishment of four operating theatres. "It was the surgeons themselves that sought a solution that enabled them to manage the colour of the light. This has been a wish for some time, but to achieve this with conventional lighting sources was both costly and complicated. When we were looking at how to renovate these four theatres, we happened to see that the prices for LED technology with colour management had become so affordable that we were able to fit it in," said Electrical Department Manager at Sørlandet Hospital, Espen Brødholt.

Operating in blue light

The first two theatres with RGB were completed in 2017. The remaining two were completed in the summer of 2018. The lighting solution they selected provides the opportunity for precise management of lighting in different zones of the operating theatre. For endoscopic surgeries it is particularly important that the surgeons have good contrast on the monitor so that he or she does not suffer eye strain."The operating theatres are divided to enable the surgeon to change to coloured light in the zones adjacent to the patient where the monitors are situated. One can choose between different colours, but in practice blue light is preferred," explained Brødholt.Lighting at the upper body area, where the anaesthetists work, must in the meantime provide the best possible realistic representation of the patient's complexion, so that it is easy to monitor the condition of the patient. It is for this reason that the colour of the light is kept white with a colour temperature of 4500 kelvin. The same applies to the zone over the patient's body. 

During endoscopic operations the doctors at Sørlandet Hospital in Kristiansand prefer to work in a blue light, so that they get the best possible contrast on the monitors.

The surgeons can easily control lighting from a separate monitor.

Are less fatigued

The solution chosen by Sørlandet Hospital has predefined scenarios for preparation, open surgery and endoscopy, in addition to "normal" light. Both colour temperature and intensity can also be set manually. The surgeons can manage the lighting from a separate monitor. According to Brødholt, experiences with the lighting solution are good."The doctors have background lighting that is considerably more pleasant to work under, and thus they become less fatigued. This has tremendous significance in the case of long operations," he explained.Comprehensive technical upgradingEspen Brødholt has been employed at Sørlandet Hospital for 11 years and is head of the electrical department, which has a staff of 7. The section is responsible for the high and low power plants at the hospital in Kristiansand. The work of upgrading all of 13 operating theatres commenced in 2011. So far, a total of nine theatres have been completed, with four theatres remaining. The background for the project was that the operating theatres had not been upgraded since the year they were built, 1989, and that they did not meet with the current regulations. 

Vital boost

"In the renovation we stripped away all the electricals, took down panelled ceilings and ceiling columns, and removed all electrical switchboards. The theatres have had new suspended ceilings and new ceiling columns installed. We have also installed a new supply for emergency power, installed new switchboards, new conduits and new lighting plant," said Brødholt, who is very happy that the electrical section has received such a vital boost."We see that upgrades and adaptations to current standards have been made in all other areas, and that new knowledge and methods are implemented, while the technical plant is often left unchanged. We are therefore very pleased that this project was given priority," he said.He is also pleased that conventional sources of lighting were replaced by LED"In that present-day lighting systems mainly consist of luminaires with fluorescent tubes, we spend a lot of time replacing light sources. With the transition to LED we expect we will be able to release a good deal of capacity in the electrical section that we can employ in other, more productive tasks," said Brødholt.

Good co-operation

Glamox supplied the lighting for the operating theatres. Bravida was responsible for the installation, while Rambøll, in co-operation with the electrical department at the hospital, was responsible for planning. Brødholt is extremely satisfied with the co-operation they enjoyed with the three companies."The follow-up we have received is excellent. The project staff have been creative and co-operative, and have offered good solutions.