Medical College of Wisconsin
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Airborne particulates in the OR environment. AORN J 1999 Jun;69(6):1169-72, 1175-7, 1179 passim



Pubmed ID




Scopus ID

2-s2.0-0033144066   25 Citations


Intraoperative sampling of airborne particulates is rarely performed in the OR environment because of technical difficulties associated with sampling methodologies and because of the common belief that airborne contamination is infrequently associated with surgical site infections (SSIs). In this study, investigators recovered non-viable (i.e., lint) and viable (i.e., microorganisms) particulates during vascular surgery using a personal cascade impactor sampling device. The predominant nonviable particulates recovered during intraoperative sampling were wood pulp fibers from disposable gowns and drapes. Several potential nosocomial pathogens (e.g., Staphylococcus aureus, Staphylococcus epidermidis) and other drug-resistant isolates frequently were recovered from an area adjacent to the surgical field. The widespread presence of airborne particulates during surgery suggests that further studies are warranted to assess the role these particles may play in the development of SSIs or in dissemination of nosocomial pathogens within the OR and hospital environment.

Author List

Edmiston CE Jr, Sinski S, Seabrook GR, Simons D, Goheen MP


Gary R. Seabrook MD Chief, Professor in the Surgery department at Medical College of Wisconsin

MESH terms used to index this publication - Major topics in bold

Air Microbiology
Air Pollutants
Cross Infection
Disposable Equipment
Intraoperative Period
Operating Rooms
United States
jenkins-FCD Prod-468 69a93cef3257f26b866d455c1d2b2d0f28382f14