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Aug 14, 2019

UK research proves need for ultra-clean air in operating theatres to prevent infections

The Avidicare Opragon System is based on scientific validation

Avidicare has been working with an evidence-based approach to develop ultra-clean ventilation systems that help healthcare work towards zero infections since 2007. A key feature is to ensure very low levels of bacteria in the air during on-going surgery. A recent study from the UK (Bone Joint J 2018;100-B:1264-9.) contributes by validating the basic claim concerning the relation between airborne bacteria levels and deep surgical site infections.

 Deep infection was identified as a serious complication in the earliest days of total hip arthroplasty. It was identified that airborne contamination in conventional operating theatres was the major contributing factor. As progress was made in improving the engineering of operating theatres, airborne contamination was reduced. Detailed studies were carried out relating airborne contamination to deep infection rates.


Ultra-clean air in the OR lowers risk of SSI

Avidicare has made thousands of bacteria measurements during on-going surgery and also observed reduced SSI levels in operating theaters with low colony forming unit levels (CFU). This reduction was especially true for ORs that used the Avidicare Opragon system to establish ultra-clean air conditions in the whole OR. The UK research study showed that ultra-clean air conditions significantly reduced the risk of deep infection rates.

In a trial conducted by the United Kingdom Medical Research Council (MRC), it was found that the use of ultra-clean air (UCA) operating theatres was associated with a significant reduction in deep infection rates. Deep infection rates were further reduced by the use of a body exhaust system.

The MRC trial also included a detailed microbiology study, which confirmed the relationship between airborne contamination and deep infection rates.


A future with increasing infection rates

The increase in infection rates seems to be getting worse and deteriorate for the future.

Recent observational evidence from joint registries has shown that in contemporary practice, infection rates remain a problem, and may be getting worse. Registry observations have also called into question the value of “laminar air flow” operating theatres.

This trend was also indicated by a recent study published in The Lancet that we commented on our blog:


A continued need for Ultra-clean air in operating theathers

The UK study concludes that there is a valid and continued need for ultra-clean air in operating rooms to prevent deep surgical infections.

 Observational evidence from joint registries provides very limited evidence on the efficacy of UCA operating theatres. Although there have been some changes in surgical practice in recent years, the conclusions of the MRC trial remain valid, and the use of UCA is essential in preventing deep infection.


The Avidicare Opragon can support infection prevention
Avidicare works with the mission “Towards Zero Infections” which summarises our aim to eliminate the risk of Surgical Site Infections (SSI) within the healthcare system. The Avidicare Opragon system has a scientifically proven capability to lower airbone bacteria levels during surgery, and with antibiotics being less and less effective, this capability will increase in importance. Since when antibiotics fail to treat the infection, it will be more important than ever that the bacteria do not enter the wound in the first place. It is also important to combine ultra-clean air with modern hygienic protocol and antibiotics. 

Please access the complete scientific article here: