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April 1976

Influence of Operating Room Surface Contamination on Surgical Wounds: A Prospective Study

Arch Surg. 1976;111(4):484-488. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1976.01360220180031

• The influence of operating room contamination on wound infection rates in clean, clean-contaminated, contaminated, and septic procedures was studied by a prospective randomized study of 2,020 surgical wounds. Operating room surface contamination was assessed by the RODAC bacterial plate method. Control rooms uniformly received Wet-Vac cleaning between operations. Experimental rooms were not cleaned between consecutive clean operations, but were cleaned after contaminated operations. The difference in surface contamination between groups of experimental and control rooms was found to be significant at the P <.05 level.

Patients operated on in experimental and control rooms were followed up postoperatively to assess whether they experienced wound infection. No statistically significant differences in wound infection rates were found between experimental and control room operations as total groups, clean procedures, or operations of long duration.

(Arch Surg 111:484-488, 1976)