Impairment of anesthesia task performance by laser protection goggles

C. Boucek, J. A. Freeman, N. G. Bircher, W. Tullock

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


This study was designed to determine whether the wearing of colored goggles, commonly used during laser surgery, increased the time needed to perform simple tasks or the likelihood of medication errors. The Stromberg Dexterity Test and the Medication Sorting Task (MST), a test of our own design, were used to measure the speed and accuracy of identifying medications. Thirty anesthesia care providers performed the tests twice, once with colored goggles and once without. Ambient light during the test was controlled to approximate that in the operating room during laser surgery. Times required to complete the tests improved with repetition of the test. When colored goggles were worn, more time was needed to complete the tests. More errors, especially serious errors in medication sorting, occurred when goggles were worn than when they were not. The wearing of colored goggles in combination with low levels of illumination and stress due to time constraints, may increase the potential for medication errors.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1232-1237
Number of pages6
JournalAnesthesia and analgesia
Issue number6
StatePublished - 1993
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine


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