Hygiene In The Operating Theatre

While the outcome of surgical care is dependent on several factors, the efficiency of the environment is a key component. The conditions and features surrounding a theatre room contribute to the overall well-being of the patient. This is especially in regard to the prevention of surgical site and postoperative infections. An array of hygiene products is used in keeping operating rooms sterile.

Extra information about hygiene products

Importance of Keeping the Operating Room Clean

An ideal theatre room is described to be aseptic which means devoid of any pollutants or harmful pathogens. Maintenance of a sterile environment ensures the prevention of lethal secondary infections, preservation of vital functions and promotion of proper healing without any complications. Most operating rooms have a specific design, plan and execution, to enable facilitation of investigative or diagnostic and surgical or therapeutic procedures. The choice of flooring, layout and surface finishes are intended for easy control of infections.

Disease and Complications Prevented by Sterilisation of Surgical Theatres.

Surgical site infections refer to any infections that occur up to 30 days and affect either the deep tissue or incision located at the site of operation. There are three major variations to surgical site incisions. These are namely superficial, deep incisional and visceral infections. The level of surgical site contamination determines if the surgical site will develop an infection. The levels may be classified as clean wounds, contaminated wounds, or infected wounds.

The specific type of infection varies depending on the surgical procedure performed. Staphylococcus aureus is a bacterium that is part of the normal flora of a patient's skin. When in an immunocompromised state, the bacteria may multiply and manifest in staphylococcal scalded skin disease at surgical sites. Other bacteria are Enterococcus spp. Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas Aureginosa.

Common Cleaning Practices and Products for Surgical Theatres

In a bid to maintain a clean theatre environment, there are a few common hygienic practices performed in operating rooms. The most basic are handwashing, sterilization, cleaning and operating room disinfection. Alcohol-based formulations are utilised in handwashing prior to patient examination and before any surgery. It may be combined with other agents to minimize the transfer of infections to the patient.
Disinfection and sterilisation are the most vital aspects of disease control. The disinfecting process and agents vary depending on availability, equipment and environment. The disinfectant should be freshly prepared so at confer the correct amount of potency needed. Sterilization commonly involves the use of ethylene dioxide or steam sterilizers. Proper waste management is also key to disease control as waste is a potential source of hospital-acquired infection.