Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Special Outpatient Surgery Edition - Infection Control - May 2019

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

Issue link: http://outpatientsurgery.uberflip.com/i/1119364

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Page 57 of 66

microbial burden in OR air. Portable units positioned next to the OR table direct a sterile airflow across patients and instruments, creating a sterile barrier over the surgical wound. Another system is integrated into ceiling lights to provide continuous air purification. Air is pulled into the system, treated with UV-C light and pushed back out into the room. I was involved in a recent research project that measured the impact an innovative UV-C air decontamination unit had on joint replacement infection rates. During the study, the same ortho team operated on 496 patients who had similar comorbid conditions. The surgeries were performed in 2 ORs with identical HVAC laminar flow systems. The one variable in the study was the use of the UV-C unit, which was positioned within one of the ORs during 231 cases. In the OR without the UV-C technology, a total of 5 post-op infections occurred out of 265 procedures, reflecting a 1.9% infection rate, which is a typical rate observed in joint replacement surgery. No infections occurred in patients whose surgeries took place in the OR where the UV-C air decontamination unit was used (osmag.net/KvxB4W). A caveat: The relatively small trial was essentially a pilot study, not randomized controlled research. Still, the results are interesting and suggest UV-C technology can reduce the risk of periprosthetic device infections by reducing the airborne microbial population within the OR environment. Skin in the game There are many barriers to improving infection control practices, including a lack of administration support for embracing evidence- based risk-reduction technologies. The reasons for this reluctance vary from facility to facility, but cost and a failure to understand how these innovative technologies can be successfully integrated into a 5 8 • O U T PA T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • M A Y 2 0 1 9

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