Journal Article Factors contributing to airborne particle dispersal in the operating room

Noguchi, Chieko  ,  Koseki, Hironobu  ,  Horiuchi, Hidehiko  ,  Yonekura, Akihiko  ,  Tomita, Masato  ,  Higuchi, Takashi  ,  Sunagawa, Shinya  ,  Osaki, Makoto

17p.78 , 2017-07 , BioMed Central
Background: Surgical-site infections due to intraoperative contamination are chiefly ascribable to airborne particles carrying microorganisms. The purpose of this study is to identify the actions that increase the number of airborne particles in the operating room. Methods: Two surgeons and two surgical nurses performed three patterns of physical movements to mimic intraoperative actions, such as preparing the instrument table, gowning and donning/doffing gloves, and preparing for total knee arthroplasty. The generation and behavior of airborne particles were filmed using a fine particle visualization system, and the number of airborne particles in 2.83 m3 of air was counted using a laser particle counter. Each action was repeated five times, and the particle measurements were evaluated through one-way analysis of variance multiple comparison tests followed by Tukey-Kramer and Bonferroni-Dunn multiple comparison tests for post hoc analysis. Statistical significance was defined as a P value ≤.01. Results: A large number of airborne particles were observed while unfolding the surgical gown, removing gloves, and putting the arms through the sleeves of the gown. Although numerous airborne particles were observed while applying the stockinet and putting on large drapes for preparation of total knee arthroplasty, fewer particles (0.3-2.0 μm in size) were detected at the level of the operating table under laminar airflow compared to actions performed in a non-ventilated preoperative room (P <.01). Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that surgical staff should avoid unnecessary actions that produce a large number of airborne particles near a sterile area and that laminar airflow has the potential to reduce the incidence of bacterial contamination.

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