Outpatient Surgery Magazine

OR Excellence Awards - September 2020 - Subscribe to Outpatient Surgery Magazine

Outpatient Surgery Magazine, providing current information on Surgical Services, Surgical Facility Administration, Outpatient Surgery News and Trends, OR Excellence and more.

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1 8 • O U T P A T I E N T S U R G E R Y M A G A Z I N E • S E P T E M B E R 2 0 2 0 A s the COVID-19 pandemic continues, surgi- cal facilities are grappling with the chal- lenge of ensuring patients and staff don't contract the virus in their facilities. That's led to a lot of talk about surface disinfection, which is extremely important. But what about the place in which the aerosolized virus resides before it lands on a surface? What about the air itself? You need that to be clean, too. Like surface disinfection, the cleanliness of your facility's air is all about risk miti- gation. It's something you should constantly moni- tor. Here's what you need to keep an eye on. • Relative humidity. For me, this is by far the most important aspect of preventing COVID-19, as well as surgical site infections (SSIs). The magical relative humidity zone for your entire building — the ORs, PACU, the lobby, the waiting room, the offices, you name it — is 40% to 60%. In terms of human health, we do best in that range. Why? Take the microbiome of your gut. We couldn't live with- out all those "good" organisms that reside in our body. It turns out that "good" microbes are most abundant, and "bad" ones — the pathogens — are least infectious in that midrange humidity zone. How Clean Is Your OR Air? COVID-19 increases the importance of addressing airborne pathogens. Infection Prevention Stephanie Taylor, MD, M. Arch, CIC BREATHE EASY In the fight against COVID-19 and SSIs, making sure clean air circulates through ORs is just as important as robust surface disinfection.

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