Operating Room Foot Traffic: A Risk Factor for Surgical Site Infections

Surg Infect (Larchmt). 2019 Feb/Mar;20(2):146-150. doi: 10.1089/sur.2018.248. Epub 2019 Jan 16.


Extensive studies on foot traffic in the operating room (OR) have shown little correlation between surgical site infections (SSIs) and traffic of OR personnel in and out of the OR. While evidence supports the relation between foot traffic in the OR, airborne bacteria, and subsequent SSIs in orthopedic surgical procedures, the studies were conducted over four years and in more than 8,000 patients. The direct relation this finding has to general surgery patients has yet to be proven; however, protocols to reduce foot traffic may have a beneficial effect for the OR team.

Keywords: airborne bacteria; infection control; surgical site infection.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Air Microbiology
  • Health Personnel*
  • Humans
  • Infection Control / methods*
  • Locomotion*
  • Operating Rooms*
  • Risk Factors*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / epidemiology*
  • Surgical Wound Infection / prevention & control*