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August 1962

Bacterial Ecology of the Operating Suite

Author Affiliations

Department of Surgery and Laboratory of Clinical Biology, University of Utah College of Medicine, and Veterans Administration Hospital.

Arch Surg. 1962;85(2):290-297. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1962.01310020120023

Introduction  Surgical wound infections continue to occur and to add to the morbidity of surgical procedures. Certain measures are taken in almost every operating suite to suppress the bacterial population therein. A more critical evaluation of those measures taken to control conditions under which operations are conducted is needed.This study consists of 4 components: (1) a bacteriologic study of floor surfaces in the operating suite, (2) quantitative bacteriologic air sampling in the operating suite, (3) nasopharyngeal and subungual cultures of personnel frequenting the operating room, and (4) an analysis of wound infections occurring in patients having operations during the period of study. These studies were done concurrently over a 6-month period of observation.The operating suite utilized for this study is divided into intermediate and restricted areas. Only those persons properly attired in operating room dress and footwear are allowed to enter the restricted zone. Figure 1 illustrates the

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