Investigating bacterial growth in surgical theatres: establishing the effect of laminar airflow on bacterial growth on plastic, metal and wood surfaces

AR Da Costa, A Kothari, GC Bannister, AW Blom

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle (Academic Journal)peer-review

15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

INTRODUCTION: Infection is a devastating complication of surgery. Intra-operative wound contamination is a common cause of infection. A number of measures have been effective in reducing wound contamination. One such measure is laminar flow. Controversy exists as to whether it is safe to keep open instruments and implants outside the laminar flow. This study compares bacterial contamination of wood, plastic and stainless steel within and outside the laminar flow. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Identically shaped and sized tiles were left for 90 min within and outside the laminar flow and then cultured for bacterial growth. RESULTS: A third of metal and plastic tiles were contaminated, but only 10% of wooden tiles, suggesting that wood is a more hostile environment for bacteria. There was no difference in contamination between tiles placed inside and those placed outside the laminar flow. CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that placing instruments and implants outside the laminar flow is a safe practice.
Translated title of the contributionInvestigating bacterial growth in surgical theatres: establishing the effect of laminar airflow on bacterial growth on plastic, metal and wood surfaces
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)417 - 419
Number of pages3
JournalAnnals of the Royal College of Surgeons of England
Volume90(5)
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jul 2008

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