Skip to main page content
Access keys NCBI Homepage MyNCBI Homepage Main Content Main Navigation
Review
, 51 (2), 79-84

Environmental Controls in Operating Theatres

Affiliations
Review

Environmental Controls in Operating Theatres

S Dharan et al. J Hosp Infect.

Abstract

Surgical-site infection is the leading complication of surgery. Normal skin flora of patients or healthcare workers causes more than half all infections following clean surgery, but the importance of airborne bacteria in this setting remains controversial. Modern operating theatres have conventional plenum ventilation with filtered air where particles >/=5 microm are removed. For orthopaedic and other implant surgery, laminar-flow systems are used with high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filters where particles >/=0.3 microm are removed. The use of ultra-clean air has been shown to reduce infection rates significantly in orthopaedic implant surgery. Few countries have set bacterial threshold limits for conventionally ventilated operating rooms, although most recommend 20 air changes per hour to obtain 50-150 colony forming units/m(3) of air. There are no standardized methods for bacterial air sampling or its frequency. With the use of HEPA filters in operating theatre ventilation, there is a tendency to apply cleanroom technology standards used in industry for hospitals. These are based on measuring the presence of particles of varying sizes and numbers, and are better suited than bacterial sampling. Environmental bacterial sampling in operating theatres should be limited to investigation of epidemics, validation of protocols, or changes made in materials which could influence the microbial content.

Similar articles

See all similar articles

Cited by 32 articles

See all "Cited by" articles

MeSH terms

LinkOut - more resources

Feedback