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July 1979

Airflow Effects in Surgery: Perspective of an Era

Author Affiliations

From the Division of the Institute for Surgical Studies, Department of Surgery, Montefiore Hospital and Medical Center and the Department of Surgery, Albert Einstein College of Medicine, Bronx, NY.

Arch Surg. 1979;114(7):826-830. doi:10.1001/archsurg.1979.01370310068012

• Accumulated evidence of the last decade has emphasized the multifaceted nature of wound infection control. Clean air is definitely one of the facets in the complex, but its place in the hierarchy of precautions against wound infection has not been established, nor has the method of achieving acceptably clean air been universally agreed on. The surgical team and the patient are the prime sources of contamination during an operation, as evidenced by the good matches between bacteria of infected wounds and those of the team or the patient and by the poor matches between bacteria of infected wounds and airborne bacteria. Therefore, special air-handling systems, despite their ability to lower ambient bioparticulate counts, cannot be credited with being a highly relevant factor in the reduction of wound infection rates.

(Arch Surg 114:826-830, 1979)

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