Recording speech in the OR

April 12, 2008 § Leave a comment

I recently got a question via the contact form concerning the recording of speech in the OR. As this may be interesting to others I post the question and my answer here. Please don’t hesitate to ask me about anything related to medical or surgical videography. I’m more than happy to share my “expertise” (for what it’s worth).

The question

I am a surgery student in the USA. Could you please let me know what I could use to record sound in a surgery better. For me the steps followed are important and my professors will speak as they perform the surgery .

My answer
Good question.

A wireless mic is definitely the way to go. When I need to record speech in the OR I use a small wireless lavalier mic on each surgeon (photo credit).

If you’re just going to use the recorded sound for listening, and it only needs to be audible – not of the highest quality, you could just clip a mic on one of the surgeons (preferably the one who’ll do most of the talking. Or the one who allows you to…). As the surgeons stand close together, facing each other during the whole operation, the mic will pick up adequate sound from both of them.

Remember to clip the mic on before the surgeon slips into his/her sterile gown. If the surgeon doesn’t want to wear a mic, or it is simply out of the question to ask, you could clip it on the top of the anesthesiologist’s side of the ether screen, with the mic itself pointing over the top.

Wireless mic systems do not interfere with medical technical equipment, but you should probably get a permit from those in charge of medical equipment before using one in the OR.

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