Patients undergoing surgery may be at risk for infection from airborne particles such as dust, skin scales, respiratory aerosols, and hair fibers emanating from multiple sources in the OR, including personnel, heater-cooler devices,and surgical smoke. This risk is increased in surgical patients undergoing procedures involving implanted devices. Surgical personnel also are at risk from exposure to surgical smoke, which can contain viable viral particles including human papillomavirus infection. Air quality in the OR is improved by engineering controls (eg, maintaining positive pressure). During the past decade, innovations in the field of adjunctive technology designed to improve OR air quality include using ultraviolet disinfection and mobile ultraviolet disinfection plus high-efficiency particulate air filtration. Some of these technologies additionally provide continuous monitoring of circulating air particle counts. Additional research regarding the benefits of adjunctive air-cleaning technology in the OR is warranted.
Barnes, S., Twomey, C., Carrico, R., Murphy, C., & Warye, K. (2018). OR Air Quality: Is it time to consider adjunctive air cleaning technology? AORN Journal, 108(5), 503-515. https://doi.org/10.1002/aorn.12391