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Year : 2017  |  Volume : 19  |  Issue : 2  |  Page : 105-108

An in vitro evaluation of bacterial penetration through different kinds of surgical drapes

1 Department of Microbiology, VSS Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Sambalpur, Odisha, India
2 Department of Anaesthesiology, VSS Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Sambalpur, Odisha, India

Correspondence Address:
Dr. Susanta Kumar Sahu
Department of Microbiology, VSS Institute of Medical Sciences and Research, Burla, Sambalpur - 768 017, Odisha
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jacm.jacm_75_16

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PURPOSE: Surgical site infection is a major cause of increased post-operative morbidity. The surgical drape functions as a barrier between the surgical field and the potential sources of microorganisms in the environment and operating room personnel. The extent to which the materials act as barrier depends on the closeness of the weave and water-resistant properties of the fabric. This is an in vitro study to evaluate the ability of different types of surgical drapes to prevent bacterial strike through. MATERIALS AND METHODS: Four types of fabrics used as surgical drapes were tested for their ability to prevent strike through when exposed to different bacteria for varying spans of time. We tested the drapes with Staphylococcus aureus, Escherichia coli and Pseudomonas aeruginosa. RESULTS: Drapes made of cotton (CC) or polyester-cotton (PC) textile exhibited least resistance to bacterial penetration. Disposable woven continuous filament polyester fabrics showed better resisting powers. The disposable non-woven polythene fabrics were found to resist bacterial penetration most effectively. The penetration through the woven fabrics was found to be dose- and time-dependent. CONCLUSION: The practice of using reusable textile clothes as surgical drapes should be discontinued and be replaced by non-woven seamless disposable fabric. Surgical drapes should be tested for their penetrability before introducing in operation theatre.

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