Establishment of an operating room committee and a training program to improve aseptic techniques for rodent and large animal surgery

J Am Assoc Lab Anim Sci. 2006 Nov;45(6):58-62.


Investigators of our research facility generally accept the concept of asepsis as an important component of adequate surgical care for animals. However, they experience difficulties putting it into practice, especially in the case of rodents. The reasons for this are inconvenience, cost, and lack of training. To better assist investigators in the implementation of aseptic surgical techniques in their laboratories, we have created an Operating Room (OR) Committee modeled after OR committees found in human hospitals. A reconstructive surgeon, a veterinarian, a research scientist, a nurse involved in the training of OR personnel, interns, graduate students, and an animal health technician were chosen as committee members in light of their OR and animal care expertise. The first task of the OR Committee was to establish institutional guidelines for aseptic surgery, taking into account the costs imposed on research budgets by these procedures. The OR Committee also supports a complete training program in aseptic surgery techniques, which consists of lectures, a training manual, videos, and a practical course. Furthermore, when experimental procedures require specialized equipment, the OR Committee collaborates with researchers to develop strategies to achieve asepsis. This OR Committee and the training program proved to be important tools to promote and improve the quality of animal care during surgery.

MeSH terms

  • Animal Care Committees*
  • Animal Welfare / standards
  • Animals
  • Asepsis / methods*
  • Asepsis / standards
  • Operating Rooms / standards*
  • Rodentia / surgery*
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / education
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / standards
  • Surgical Procedures, Operative / veterinary*