The Journal of Arthroplasty, Volume 31, Issue 4, 776 - 780

Contamination Relative to the Activation Timing of Filtered-Exhaust Helmets

Hanselman, Andrew E. et al.
Ankle Elbow Hip Knee Shoulder

Background

Filtered-exhaust helmet systems are commonplace during total joint arthroplasty, but their ability to limit intraoperative contamination has been questioned. We hypothesized that activation of the airflow system after complete gowning would lead to decreased contamination of the surgical environment.

Methods

Using a fluorescent particle model, the maximal particle spread from a filtered-exhaust helmet and contamination of the surgical environment based on timing of airflow activation through simulated surgical gowning procedures were evaluated.

Results

Helmet airflow analysis revealed particle spread greater than 5 feet in all trials. Activation before gowning resulted in a significantly greater contamination in the control group compared with the experimental group (P = .014).

Conclusions

We recommend complete surgical gowning before activation of the airflow system.


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