Scanning Electron Microscopy of Operating Theatre Air
STUDY DIRECTOR: W.R. Walsh, Ph.D.
Implementation of technologies to supplement air quality engineering controls in the operating rooms (OR) could aid in prevention of surgical site infections (SSI), especially those involving an implant which require a very small inoculum to create an infection. Ultraviolet germicidal irradiation (UVGI) systems can be utilized to improve indoor air quality in high risk clinical applications by inactivating microorganisms and filtering out airborne particulates.
The SEM analysis of used inlet filtration cartridge showed a significant number of captured airborne particulates. Identified debris was classified as planar, granular and spindle-shaped, possibly cell-derived fragments.
Furthermore, the extent of cartridge particle contamination after each use in air recirculation unit appears to be consistently high irrespective of the procedure type: spinal fusion and hip replacement. Due to the particulate load in the cartridge after one procedure, the requirement for cartridge change after each case was validated.