[Gaps in asepsis due to surgical caps, face masks, external surfaces of infusion bottles and sterile wrappers of disposable articles]

Zentralbl Bakteriol Mikrobiol Hyg B. 1984 Dec;179(6):508-28.
[Article in German]


It is obvious that the surfaces of the boxes of sterile packed disposable instruments and infusion bottles are not sterile. The disposable surgical masks and surgical caps used for sterile clothing are delivered by the producers not sterile, either. To quantify these gaps and to judge their risks in the aseptic region the surfaces of 117 sterile packed disposable instruments and the inner sides of their boxes were examined bacteriologically. The surfaces of these objects proved to be not sterile by 21% and 4% were heavily contaminated with saprophytic germs. 3% of the examined articles showed pathogenic germs like Clostridium perfringens, Staphylococcus aureus, and Acinetobacter spec. 5-15% of the surfaces (glass- respectively plastic and labels) of the 331 infusion bottles proved to be heavily bacteriologically contaminated; 4-6% of them even showing pathogenic germs like Clostridium perfringens, Staphylococcus aureus, and Achromobacter spec. The surfaces of 25% of the examined disposable surgical masks and caps were considerably contaminated with saprophytic germs. Although pathogenic germs could not be detected, it means that these not sterile objects represent a considerable deficiency in surgical asepsis.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Acinetobacter / isolation & purification
  • Bacteria / isolation & purification*
  • Bacteriological Techniques
  • Clostridium perfringens / isolation & purification
  • Equipment Contamination
  • Fungi / isolation & purification
  • General Surgery*
  • Masks*
  • Protective Clothing*
  • Staphylococcus aureus / isolation & purification
  • Surgical Equipment*
  • Surgical Instruments*