4 Greatest Threats to a Sterile Medical Environment

Hearing reports of individuals who had a routine operation turn into a medical nightmare as a result of a non-sterile operating environment can be heart-wrenching. People have had their lives turned upside down, and some have even lost their lives because the instruments used during surgery as well as the environment where the surgery was performed led to an infection. The following are four of the greatest threats to a sterile medical environment.

Operating Personnel Not Using Proper Attire
The proper attire for surgical personnel includes scrubs, masks, caps, and covers for their shoes. These items are designed to only be worn in the operating area. If they are not worn or if they are not worn properly, the staff could contaminate the operating area. Caps should completely cover hair. Masks should completely cover the nose and mouth, and they should sit securely. When operating personnel leaves the OR, they should either cover themselves with a protective gown, or they should put on new scrubs before reentering the operating room.

Dirty Hands and Jewellery
Before entering the operating room, all operating personnel should use nail cleanser to clean their fingernails and scrub their hands and forearms. The surgical hand scrub that is used minimizes the amount of microorganisms on the skin. It is better for operating personnel to use an alcohol-based product as opposed to an antimicrobial product. Additionally, professionals should remove all jewelry before performing surgery. This would include necklaces, earrings, watches, bracelets, and rings.

Non-Sterile Operating Tools
The primary cause of surgery-related infections is the use of non-sterile surgical tools. Since most medical devices are reusable, they must be properly cleaned to prevent the transmission of infection. There are certain procedures that are used to clean medical tools, as well as procedures to test the tools to make sure that they are sterile. Many hospitals and clinics leave the cleaning and testing of their supplies up to third party providers like Nelson Laboratories.

A Dirty OR Setting
A dirty operating room setting can lead to cross-contamination and affect future patients. Surgical rooms and surgical procedure rooms should be cleaned every day with a disinfectant agent using mechanical friction. Any containers with refillable liquids such as soaps should be disassembled and cleaned before new soap is put in. Liquid soap containers are a surprising source of microorganisms that can lead to infection.

It takes diligence on the part of the operating room staff to keep the medical environment sterile. However, the work is well worth it since the lives of their patients are at stake.


*Our content is not intended to provide medical advice or diagnosis of individual problems or circumstances, nor should it be implied that we are a substitute for professional medical advice. Users / readers are always advised to consult their Healthcare Professional prior to starting any new remedy, therapy or treatment. Your Wellness Group accepts no liability in the event you, a user of n-gage and a reader of this article, suffers a loss as a result of reliance upon or inappropriate application of the information.

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