Surgical site infections are one of the most important causes of healthcare associated infections (HCAI), accounting for 20% of all HCAIs. Surgical site infections affect 1% of joint replacement operations. This study was designed to assess whether theatre clothing is contaminated more inside or outside the theatre suite. Petri dishes filled with horse blood agar were pressed on theatre clothes at 0, 2, 4, 6 and 8 hours to sample bacterial contamination in 20 doctors whilst working in and outside the theatre suite. The results showed that there was greater bacterial contamination when outside the theatre suite at 2 hours. There were no differences in the amount of contamination at 4, 6 and 8 hours. This study suggests that the level of contamination of theatre clothes is similar both inside and outside the theatre setting.
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