Infection Risk in Two Staff Warming Devices: Research Study

An Observational Study to Evaluate Infection Risk in Two Staff Warming Devices and a Review of Current Literature into Thermal Comfort in the OR and Beyond

Abstract
The temperature in operating rooms (OR) is kept low for the comfort of the surgeon and those scrubbed in as they work under exacting conditions, dressed in impervious surgical gowns. This can create an uncomfortable environment for cold-sensitive staff who may turn to warming devices for relief. To ensure staff are not introducing risk to patients through practices like these, this study evaluated bacteria growth from two staff warming devices: the off-label use of the 3MTM Bair HuggerTM and the OPERATIONHEAJAC® TRO. Bacteria colonies were analyzed by settle plate method in a mock OR. Analysis showed that the off-label use of the Bair Hugger significantly increased the average colony forming unit (cfu) rate in the air vs control. With the OPERATIONHEATJAC TRO, there was an insignificant average cfu rate in the air vs control. The existing literature was then analyzed to discover the potential importance and the current medical opinion on this matter.
Key Words
Warming Devices; OPERATIONHEATJAC®; SSIs; Operating Room; Temperature

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