Mayo Clinic Finds Cell Phones Safe in Hospitals

by in Mayo Clinic

The first sign you see when you enter a hospital is that you must turn off your cell phone. For years it has been reported that same technology used to transmit your calls, disrupts hospital machinery for operating properly.

In a study published in the March issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, researchers say normal use of cell phones results in no noticeable interference with patient care equipment. Three hundred tests were performed over a five-month period in 2006, without a single problem incurred.

Involved in the study were two cellular phones which used different technologies from different carriers and 192 medical devices. Tests were performed at Mayo Clinic campus in Rochester.

The study’s authors say the findings should prompt hospitals to alter or abandon their bans on cell phone use.

Mayo Clinic leaders are reviewing the facility’s cell phone ban because of the study’s findings, says David Hayes, M.D., of the Division of Cardiovascular Diseases and a study author.

Cell phone bans inconvenience patients and their families who must exit hospitals to place calls, the study’s authors say.

The latest study revisits two earlier studies that were done ‘in vitro’ (i.e., the equipment wasn’t connected to the patients), which also found minimal interaction from cell phones used in health care facilities. Dr. Hayes says the latest study bolsters the notion that cells phones are safe to use in hospitals.

I still think that cell phones should be turned off when entering a hospital due to general annoyance. Some people are disrespectful and having them ringing constantly – not respecting the fact that people are recovering.

If calls need to be made there should be a common area for using cell phones.


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SAHM of 2 boys and founder of, World Traveled Family and The World We Share. When I'm not running around after my boys, I'm looking for our next vacation spot!

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