Experts have said in the British Medical Journal that the ongoing restrictions on mobile phone use in hospitals since 1990, based on mythical safety risks, are uncalled for and should be quashed.
Mobile phones were banned in hospitals after fears of their interference in medical equipment, and to prevent the potential confusion between the sound of an alarm from a medical equipment and the beep of the mobile.
Stuart Derbyshire, senior lecturer in psychology at the University of Birmingham, and Adam Burgess, from the University of Kent have said that the use of mobiles is much the same as the use of televisions, radios and other electronic devices, which are already in use in hospitals. The overriding benefit to patients in staying in touch with loved ones cannot however be overlooked, he said.
Professor Burgess, a senior lecturer in sociology, said,' Mobile phones are an easy target in a precautionary climate that demands proof that something is not dangerous rather than grounds that it is. It is ridiculous that in life-or-death situations doctors are still having to rely on pagers while many patients would welcome the opportunity to talk to their friends and family without resorting to expensive hospital phones.'