No cell phones in hospitals?

  1. The past two times I've gone to the hospital (nothing major, I was sick and wanted the doctor to tell me what was wrong . . . hopefully get something perscribed that was stronger than what I was taking . . . . ) and the past two times someone at the hospital had to tell people not to use their cell phone. Yesterday, someone was even told to turn it off.

    Why is that?

    Is it because the cell phone could screw up the frequencies of the hospital machinery or is it because the hospital doesn't want someone talking about confidential stuff over the phone?

    I was discussing it with another patient in the waiting room (it was her mother that was told to turn it off) and we thought the reason could be one of the two I mentioned but we weren't sure.
     
  2. Directly from the FCC website:

    Why can’t you use cell phones in hospitals or airplanes?

    Some of the places that you should never use your mobile phone are inside hospitals and airplanes. When you make or receive calls, electromagnetic waves are sent through the air. Hospitals have a lot of electronic devices that monitor patient's heartbeats and other thing when they are getting surgery or when they are recovering from an illness. When electromagnetic waves try to go through them, the devices sometimes stop working. You can imagine how bad that would be for doctors and nurses in hospitals who are trying to save lives. That's why we should never use mobile phones inside of a hospital.

    It's the same thing in airplanes because they use computers to fly through the air. If the computers don't work properly, the airplane may not go the right direction or fly at the right height, or they may even crash! Next time you get on a plane, make sure that turn off your mobile phone so that everyone can have a safe flight.
     
  3. I think it must depend on the hospital, I went in for two days last week and the nurse just asked me to keep it on silent.
     
  4. I suspect that the risk varies from ward to ward or even hospital to hospital. However, it's probably better to enforce the "no cell phone" rule so that people can get well in peace without cell phones beeping or people yelling into their phones.

    In places where cell phones are supposed to be silent or switched off (e.g. cinema, theatres) people still use them. Perhaps it's better to leave the ban in hospitals.
     
  5. overall it just depends on where you are, and what machinary is around you.

    but no worries, they have a phone in every patient room! with it's own line...
     
  6. They did a study on cellphones in airplanes and it actually doesn't cause the airplane to lose control unless nearly everyone on the plane is using a cellphone.
     
  7. The info Nina posted is correct- the frequencies can interfere with hospital machines. Some areas of the hospital are much more sensitive to this than others.
     
  8. Actually PHH just explained this to me last week..while we were in the hospital..we WERE allowed to use our cells..I asked why and he said due to the new cell technology..it no longer interferes with the equipment now....
     
  9. Yes, older phones and cardiac wings are the worse....with in another couple of years it won't be an issue.
     
  10. yet after ER has been on the air for years, and now Grey's Anatomy and countless other doctor/hospital/er type shows, people STILL use cellphones in hospitals.

    go figure.
     
  11. that's what hubby said to me too (he's an EMT. they obviously spend a lot of time waiting around in hospitals for paperwork. i noticed that he's been answering his phone more often and asked why.). most hospitals are gradually lifting their no cell policies....at least in ERs, waiting rooms, maternity, and a lot of patient recovery floors. ICU/NICU, neuro and cardiac floors are usually still no cell areas (in case someone has an older one)
     
  12. I never knew about the no cell phone rule in hospitals. We're not allowed to use phones at school though. The school doesn't want drug deals being made from inside the school apparently.
     
  13. I am a nurse and every physician I know does not hesitate to use their cell phone in the building. Most hospitals now use computerized, hard wired telemetry. Cell phones do not interfere with those. I would be more concerned about people with older model pacemakers as those COULD be affected.
     
  14. I worked in a hospital for 14 years. Most of my time was spent working near extremely sensitive medical equipment.

    Cell phones have not been proven to cause any type of disturbance to aformentioned equipment, BUT, since some older model cell phones did cause certain 'glitches' on some machinery (especially ones that monitor cardiac and post-surgery patients), hospitals adopted a policy of "NO CELL PHONES" to err on the side of caution. You can talk on a cell phone inside a hospital (ex: cafeteria, waiting areas, etc...), just not next to someone hooked up to special equipment in the cardiac intensive care unit for example.

    Electromagnetic waves are nothing to mess with. I worked in the MRI dept of my hospital for 6 years. I can't begin to tell you how many patients had their credit card magnetic strips erased and cell phones and pagers damaged. The magnetic attraction from one of these machines can do heavy damage. Always be careful when entering a magnetic field inside a hospital, or you'll learn the hard way.
     
  15. Both times people got talking-tos for using their cell phones it was in the emergency room triage.