Reduction of skin bacteria in theatre air with comfortable, non-woven disposable clothing for operating-theatre staff

Br Med J. 1978 Mar 18;1(6114):696-8. doi: 10.1136/bmj.1.6114.696.


Conventional loose-weave cotton operating garments were compared with clothing of a non-woven fabric to test their efficacy in reducing the dispersal of skin bacteria into theatre air. When men wore operating suits made of the non-woven fabric dispersal of skin bacteria was reduced by 72%. When all the operating-theatre staff wore suits and dresses of this fabric air bacterial counts during operating sessions were reduced by 55%; no reduction occurred when the fabric was worn by only the scrubbed team. The lowest levels of microbial contamination of the air in the operating theatre occurred when both the unscrubbed and scrubbed theatre staff wore clothes of non-woven fabric.

MeSH terms

  • Air Microbiology*
  • Bacteria*
  • Clothing*
  • Gossypium
  • Humans
  • Operating Rooms*
  • Sex Factors
  • Skin / microbiology*