Improvement of operating room air quality and sustained reduction of surgical site infections in an orthopedic specialty hospital. | Aerobiotix

Improvement of operating room air quality and sustained reduction of surgical site infections in an orthopedic specialty hospital.

Mullen, A. N., BSN, RN, Wieser, E., MD
American Journal of Infection Control (2024)

Background:

Airborne contaminants in operating rooms (ORs) have been identified as a significant risk factor for surgical site infections (SSIs). SSIs significantly impact healthcare quality, representing over a fifth of all healthcare-associated infections in the United States. These infections place a burden on both patients and healthcare systems, with costs exceeding $3 billion annually.

Objective:

This study assesses the effectiveness of high-efficiency particulate air (HEPA) and ultraviolet (UV) air recirculation systems (Illuvia) in reducing airborne particles and subsequently lowering SSI rates in an orthopedic specialty hospital. The intervention was targeted to evaluate the impact of improved air quality on SSIs following orthopedic and spinal surgeries to enhance patient safety and surgical outcomes.

A mobile device reducing airborne particulate can improve air quality

Results and Conclusions:

The implementation of Illuvia was associated with a decrease in SSIs from 0.45% to 0.22% across more than 30,000 procedures. For spinal surgeries specifically, SSI rates reduced from 2.06% to 0.29%. Concurrently, a reduction in total particle counts within the operating rooms was observed, indicating improved air quality. These results were obtained without adverse effects on surgical workflow.