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August 1961

Some Factors Affecting Operating Room Asepsis

Author Affiliations

From the Ray Brook State Tuberculosis Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1961;83(2):161-163. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1961.01300140003001

Although "asepsis" is a commonly used term, it has long been apparent that complete asepsis in the operating room has not been achieved. It is not surprising, therefore, that wound infection continues to occur after so-called clean operations. Although many studies have been performed and much information accumulated, few major changes in operating room techniques have been introduced during the past half-century. Opinions vary regarding the sources of infection. However, there is mounting evidence that in the operating room the principal sources of pyogenic organisms are the skin, especially the hands of the surgical team, and the noses and throats of the occupants. This paper is a continuation of a previous study1 and is an attempt to determine the relative importance of various factors which appear necessary in the control of operating room infections. More specifically, it is an attempt to evaluate various types of face masks, to study