Determining high touch areas in the operating room with levels of contamination


      • The operating room was not included in the 2010 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's list of recommended high touch hospital areas to clean.
      • This study identified high touch areas within an operating room setting.
      • The researchers recommend that an established cleaning protocol be established and followed within the operating room setting based on the findings of this study.


      The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put forth the recommendation to clean areas considered high touch more frequently than minimal touch surfaces. The operating room was not included in these recommendations. The purpose of this study was to determine the most frequently touched surfaces in the operating room and their level of contamination.


      Phase 1 was a descriptive study to identify high touch areas in the operating room. In phase 2, high touch areas determined in phase 1 were cultured to determine if high touch areas observed were also highly contaminated and if they were more contaminated than a low touch surface.


      The 5 primary high touch surfaces in order were the anesthesia computer mouse, OR bed, nurse computer mouse, OR door, and anesthesia medical cart. Using the OR light as a control, this study demonstrated that a low touch area was less contaminated than the high touch areas with the exception of the OR bed.


      Based on information and data collected in this study, it is recommended that an enhanced cleaning protocol be established based on the most frequently touched surfaces in the operating room.

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