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red flashlight use on hourly rounds

ucarn71 ucarn71 (New) New

Has anyone heard of or seen any evidence base literature related to the use of a red flashilight insterad of the traditional white light for hourly night rounds . i was told by a father that had a hospitalized child that the red flash light caused less disturbance of the sleep pattern. anyone with experience in their faclity or heard of this? thanks

Seems like a good idea. Remember the red lens for use at night to prevent detection when I was in the military. It does produce a softer light.


Specializes in school RN, CNA Instructor, M/S.

i used to use a flashlight with a blue led bulb. it was subtle enough not to disturb sleep but lit up paperwork and any thing else I might trip over. (i am a bit off a klutz- Size 11W!!!):lol2:

I read in one of my nursing textbooks when reviewing for the NCLEX that a nightlight with a red bulb is recommended for elderly patients since their eyes don't have to "adjust" to the red light.....something to do with rods and cones in the eyes. Sorry I can't remember specifically where I read it - I was surprised, but it made sense once I read it...can help reduce falls since they aren't "blinded" by the abrupt change from dark to bright white light.


Specializes in peds cardiac, peds ER.

As long as there are no suspected perfusion issues (I work on a cardiac floor). It seems like the red color would make it hard to evaluate skin tone?


Specializes in Pediatrics.

I had read this thread a while ago, and just wanted to add my two-cents to the subject b/c my BF in med school just came home from his neuro class and refreshed my memory about the circadian rhythm...

While you sleep, the cones in your retina are still sensitive to blue wave lengths of light (this is because a majority of the light in the atmosphere is blue and humans used to just use the sun as a natural clock). A tiny cluster of cells in your brain called the suprachiasmatic nucleus is sensitive to these light signals from the retina and in response tell the ventrolateral preoptic nucleus (which is responsible for sleepiness) to stop firing and allow our arousal system to wake up again. Blue light (also a component in white light), will effectively reset your/your patient's circadian rhythm, which is probably why people have so much trouble sleeping in the hospital. Because the lights are constantly being turned on and off throughout the night, your patient's circadian rhythm is constantly being interrupted and reset. Red light would interrupt your patient's circadian rhythm least, but like HRM672 said, would make it difficult to evaluate perfusion issues.

Just some little pearls of knowledge! :)

There's also an article about the brain during sleep in the most recent National Geographic (take out the spaces):

http:// ngm.nationalgeographic. com/2010/05/sleep/max-text


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