Environmental microbial contamination in the operating room (OR) can favour contamination of the surgical wound, posing the risk of infection of the surgical site. Thus, environmental monitoring is a useful tool for assessing environmental health and the effectiveness and efficiency of the measures adopted to control the risk of infection in the OR. This work aimed to analyse the long term environmental quality of 18 ORs throughout Sardinia, Italy, through the quantitative and qualitative characterisation of the microbial flora present in the air and on surfaces, in order to evaluate the trend over time, including in relation to any control measures adopted. The results of the sampling carried out in the period from January 2010 to December 2019 have been extrapolated from the archive-database of the Laboratory of the Hygiene and Control of Hospital Infections Unit of the University Hospital in Sassari. During the period in question, 188 air evaluations were carried out, both in empty rooms and during surgery, and 872 surface samples were taken. When the air was monitored, it emerged that significant contamination was detectable in a reduced number of examinations and a limited number of rooms. Microbial load values higher than the reference values may have been mainly determined by sub-optimal operation/maintenance of the air conditioning system. Surface testing showed a good level of sanitisation, given the low percentage of non-compliant values detected. The possibility of having data available on environmental quality is a useful educational and training tool both for those responsible for sanitisation procedures and the surgical team, in order to increase awareness of the effects of a lack of compliance with behavioural standards.
Microbial monitoring as a tool for preventing infectious risk in the operating room: Results of 10 years of activity / Masia, M. D.; Dettori, M.; Deriu, G. M.; Soddu, S.; Deriu, M.; Arghittu, A.; Azara, A.; Castiglia, P.. - In: ATMOSPHERE. - ISSN 2073-4433. - 12:1(2021), pp. 1-10. [10.3390/atmos12010019]