AORN Sterile Technique Guidelines | Aerobiotix

AORN Sterile Technique Guidelines

As of April 18, 2024, the Association of periOperative Registered Nurses (AORN) has released updated Sterile Technique Guidelines. These revisions emphasize the importance of maintaining high air quality standards in surgical settings to significantly reduce the risk of surgical site infections (SSIs). Aerobiotix is committed to helping healthcare facilities understand and meet these new guidelines through continuing education and air decontamination technology that ensures compliance and enhanced surgical safety across healthcare environments.

“The latest recommendations from AORN reinforce the essential role of advanced air decontamination systems in today’s operating rooms. Aerobiotix is dedicated to providing technologies like the Illuvia Sense, which meet and exceed these new standards, ensuring safer surgical environments for patients and healthcare professionals.”

Paul Ciovacco,
Vice President of Sales

Guideline Recommendations

The new recommendations for air quality and reduction of surgical site infections in the 2024 AORN Sterile Technique Guideline include:

Recommendation 9.4:

The health care organization should implement strategies to reduce the risk of airborne environmental contamination in rooms where surgical or other invasive procedures are performed.


Recommendation 9.5:

A perioperative air quality management program may be used as a strategy to reduce the risk of airborne environmental contamination in rooms where operative and other invasive procedures are performed.


Recommendation 9.5.2:

Elements of a perioperative air quality management program may include:

  • Reviewing high-quality evidence and professional organization recommendations related to perioperative air quality specifying the locations and rooms that are included in the scope of the program
  • Reviewing the types of HVAC systems being used in each room (eg, unidirectional air delivery, nonunidirectional airflow [eg, turbulent], filtration level [eg, minimum efficiency reporting value (MERV) 16], high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) filtration, ultra-low particulate air filtration], supplemental air cleaning devices either in-duct or in-room);
  • Verifying that the HVAC systems in use meet regulatory requirements and professional organization standard
  • Determining if the HVAC system is performing as expected (ie, unidirectionality, velocity, filtration) based on the manufacturer’s specifications
  • Evaluating if the recommended HVAC system maintenance has been completed
  • Reviewing HVAC issues identified and addressed during scheduled maintenance
  • Reviewing reports from off-cycle HVAC maintenance processes (eg, HVAC failure) for root cause and influence on air quality
  • Understanding the use of and monitoring HVAC setback strategies in the ORs or procedure rooms that are included in the program
  • Verifying that expected room pressure differentials are present
  • Determining the indications that trigger air quality sampling (eg, on a scheduled basis [after HVAC maintenance] or only during specific instances [eg, HVAC failure; investigation of a series of infections changes in room use; initiation of smoke evacuation; changes in drapes, gowns, or surgical attire; changes in door openings])

Recommendation 9.5.3:

When an SSI is identified, SSI surveillance may include a review of the air quality sampling data from the OR where the procedure was performed and the recorded or observed equipment, environment, and personnel factors.


Recommendations from AORN 2024 Sterile Technique Guideline, electronically accessed from on April 18, 2024.

These new guidelines highlight the critical role of technologies like Illuvia® Sense in maintaining optimal air quality during surgical procedures. Illuvia Sense offers:

  • Significant reduction of airborne contaminants, minimizing the risk of SSIs
  • Seamless integration into hospital infrastructures without disrupting workflow
  • Real-time environmental monitoring for maintaining air quality standards

Class II FDA-Registered Medical Device

As a Class II FDA-registered medical device, Illuvia Sense complies with strict regulatory standards, positioning Aerobiotix to help healthcare facilities enhance their infection control protocols, effectively meeting and surpassing the new AORN air quality management guidelines.

May 23rd Continuing Education Event with Dr. Hudson Garrett

Mastering Modern Sterile Techniques: A Deep Dive into the New AORN Guidelines

In conjunction with these guideline updates, Aerobiotix is excited to host a Continuing Education (CE) event, “Mastering Modern Sterile Techniques: A Deep Dive into the New AORN Guidelines.” Led by Dr. Hudson Garrett, this webinar is scheduled for May 23, 2024, from 1-2 p.m. (EDT) and will provide attendees with 1.0 hours of CE credits. Dr. Garrett will discuss the significant changes in the guidelines and offer insights on how healthcare professionals can apply these updates in various clinical settings.

“Continuing programs such as this represent the perfect opportunity for healthcare professionals to apply the evidence-based recommendations from AORN so that every patient and healthcare team member can benefit from their clinical benefit. The time to improve healthcare safety is now, and together, we can raise the bar for healthcare air quality.”

Dr. Hudson Garrett

Healthcare professionals, including registered nurses, infection preventionists, and risk managers, are encouraged to register for the webinar to enhance their understanding of the new guidelines and learn about comprehensive air quality management programs.