An outbreak of surgical site infections following craniotomy procedures associated with a change in the ultrasonic surgical aspirator decontamination process

Am J Infect Control. 2017 Apr 1;45(4):433-435. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2016.11.020. Epub 2016 Dec 26.


We investigated an outbreak of surgical site infections that occurred in a tertiary care hospital in Quebec, Canada. This investigation revealed that a change in the sterilization process of the ultrasonic surgical aspirator may have caused this outbreak. It emphasizes the fact that the complex designs of surgical power tools may restrict access to cleaning and sterilization agents. Health care professionals should review manufacturers' assembly/disassembly instructions and sterilization/decontamination procedures before use of such tools.

Keywords: Neurosurgery; Sterilization; Surgical power tool.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Craniotomy / adverse effects*
  • Craniotomy / instrumentation*
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Equipment and Supplies*
  • Humans
  • Quebec / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies
  • Sterilization / methods*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology*
  • Tertiary Care Centers
  • Young Adult