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How are operation theatres sterilised and fumigated?

Friday, 03 December 2004
Answered by: Dr. T.S. Jayalakshmi
Professor,
Deptt. of Anaesthesiology, AIIMS,
New Delhi

Q. How is the operation theatre sterilised? What do you mean by fumigation and how is it done?

A.  Sterilisation means eradicating germs completely, which is not 100% possible in an operation theatre. The sources of bacterial (germ) contamination are from air and the environment, infected body fluids, patients, articles, equipment etc. The following methods are practiced to keep the operation theatre (OT) bacteriologically safe and below accepted levels: 1. Special air flow pattern (the air flow pattern is such that filtered and purified air circulates and contaminated air is removed continuously). There is restriction of personnel traffic, closing of OT doors and a good ventilation system. 2. Standard cleaning, disinfection with appropriate chemical agents, good theatre practice, discipline all can provide a microbiologically safe environment. Fumigation is a process of sterilisation. It is done with formaline fumes. Formaline fumes are very pungent and harmful. So when a room is fumigated, it is tightly closed and sealed before fumigation. The room is opened after fumigation (12 - 24 hours). The room can be used once all fumes are out.

A.  Sterilisation means eradicating germs completely, which is not 100% possible in an operation theatre. The sources of bacterial (germ) contamination are from air and the environment, infected body fluids, patients, articles, equipment etc. The following methods are practiced to keep the operation theatre (OT) bacteriologically safe and below accepted levels: 1. Special air flow pattern (the air flow pattern is such that filtered and purified air circulates and contaminated air is removed continuously). There is restriction of personnel traffic, closing of OT doors and a good ventilation system. 2. Standard cleaning, disinfection with appropriate chemical agents, good theatre practice, discipline all can provide a microbiologically safe environment. Fumigation is a process of sterilisation. It is done with formaline fumes. Formaline fumes are very pungent and harmful. So when a room is fumigated, it is tightly closed and sealed before fumigation. The room is opened after fumigation (12 - 24 hours). The room can be used once all fumes are out.

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