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State of the art operating theatres in new St. Erik Eye Hospital

9 October 2020

With the move to new premises, St. Erik Eye Hospital is making new investments in medical technology. This is evident, not least in the operating theatres, where old equipment has given way to new equipment.

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“When operating on the back of the eye, the operating theatre needs to be dark, except for a low red light,” says Jonas Lübcke, medical engineer at St. Erik Eye Hospital.

“Our new operating theatres have been equipped according to the top-of-the-line technical performance that is present in all operating theatres in Stockholm,” says Michael Gårdebäck, chairman of the department of anaesthesiology and surgery at St. Erik Eye Hospital.

In the newly built operating theatres, room temperature, ventilation, alarms and lighting are controlled via a high teach control system. This increases both comfort and patient safety. It is important that patients and staff are not cold or sweating.

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Michael Gårdebäckthe department of anaesthesiology and surgery at St. Erik, and his staff are proud to start working in new, state of the art theatres. Photo: Jens Sølvberg

Even though all this new equipment might be perceived as luxurious, Michael Gårdebäck stresses that it is actually a perfectly reasonable update. And everything has not been changed. For example, the surgical instruments have been included in the move, as well as eight surgical microscopes along with all aesthetic and operating tables.

Lighting technology is perhaps the most important thing in the new operating theatres. In order for surgeons to be able to see all details clearly through the microscope, the light is completely glare-free. The colour scale is situational with colour temperatures adjusted depending on the type of operation.

When a surgeon operates on the front of the eye, as in cataracts, a lot of light is needed. However, when the surgeon works on the back of the eye, as in retinal detachments, the room needs to be completely dark except for a low red light, explains Jonas Lübcke, medical engineer at St. Erik Eye Hospital.

Jonas Lübcke manages the service of all technical aids and served as the technical support during the procurement of the new equipment. He was involved in the decision to procure operating theatre pendants, among other things. The pendants hang down from the ceiling and distribute oxygen, electricity and other essentials needed during an operation. The choice of a pendant means that the staff never have to stand on pallets to reach.

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Michael Gårdebäck and Jonas Lübcke next to a ceiling pendant in a newly built operating theatre. Photo: Jens Sølvberg

Thanks to a new set-up room, where the sterile surgical instruments arrive before they are brought into the operating room, the patient can walk into the operating room instead of being rolled in on a bed as before. That this stirs up dust is of no consequence because the instruments are still in the next room. Patients walk on their own into the operating room, which has been illuminated with yellow-red dimmed lighting, adapted to increase a feeling of calmness.

Walking in of your own volition increases the sense of self-control and autonomy for the patient. Physical activity also helps the patient to maintain their body temperature better during surgery, says Michael Gårdebäck.
Another update is that the operating theatres are equipped with a new camera system. Through this, the operation can be followed via monitors that hang outside the rooms. In addition to filming the room, it is possible to follow the surgeon’s work in detail because the microscope image is also shown. Audio and video can be sent away in real time to any computer, allowing students to follow the progress.

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Michael Gårdebäck and Jonas Lübcke show the new camera system that films the surgeon’s work in detail so that, for example, students can follow the surgery.. Photo: Jens Sølvberg

The recovery department has also received new modern surveillance monitors with more functions. All monitoring devices are connected to a common central monitoring. This allows you to keep track of all patients from the same screen.

We are proud and happy to be working in a state of the art, specially adapted surgical department. It has really been built just for us, says Michael Gårdebäck.

Updated
16 October 2020