Clinical Instructor, Anesthesiology, Perioperative and Pain Medicine
Residency: Stanford University Anesthesiology Residency (2021) CA
Internship: Madigan Army Medical Center (2014) WA
Medical Education: Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons (2013) NY
Potential Sources of Operating Room Air Contamination: A Preliminary Study.
The Journal of hospital infection
BACKGROUND: The Neptune surgical suction system (NSSS) and the Bair Hugger (BH) forced-air warmer both discharge filtered exhaust or heated air into the OR, often in close proximity to a surgical site.AIM: To assess the effectiveness of this filtration, we examined the quantity and identity of microbial colonies emitted from their output ports compared to those obtained from circulating air entering the OR.METHODS: Air samples were collected from each device using industry standard sampling devices in which a measured volume of air is impacted onto a blood agar plate at a controlled flow rate. Twelve ORs were studied. Sample plates were incubated for one week per study protocol, then interpreted for colony counts and sent for species identification.FINDINGS: The average colony count from the NSSS exhaust was not significantly different from that obtained from room air samples, however the average count from the BH output was significantly higher (p=0.0086) than room air. Genetic identification profiles revealed the presence of environmental or commensal organisms that differed depending on the source. High variability in colony counts from both devices suggests that certain NSSS and BH devices could be significant sources of OR air contamination.CONCLUSIONS: Our study showed that the BH patient warming device could be a source of airborne microbial contamination in the OR and that individual BH and NSSS units exhibit a higher output of microbial CFUs than would be expected compared to incoming room air. We make simple suggestions on ways to mitigate these risks.
View details for DOI 10.1016/j.jhin.2021.04.020
View details for PubMedID 33895163