What should surgical professionals consider when purchasing fluid waste control products to ensure infection control and staff safety in the OR?
October 1, 2010
The two biggest concerns in every OR are the prevention of infection and the safety of the workers. To help control cross-contamination and the spread of infection, both inside and outside of the OR, it’s important to have an anti-microbial element in the fluid management product which can help kill harmful bacteria and contaminants coming down from the surgical field onto the floor. Products which have an anti-microbial agent will help kill these harmful contaminants and help reduce the risk of spreading infection.
There are different types of products typically used for fluid management during surgical procedures; small floor suction devices, absorbent products to soak up fluids (including blankets and towels) or surgical suction mats. The most effective device to control fluid on the floor is a larger product covering more surface area, such as a surgical suction mat, which will continuously suction fluids away into a closed environment keeping the staff safer and reducing the risk of cross-contamination.
The other important issue to consider with fluid waste control products such as a suction mat is the ergonomic aspect of the product, which translates into better safety for the OR staff. During these fluid-intense procedures, it’s ideal to have a product that is not only non-slip under the feet of those who are operating, but also anti-fatigue as well. When the floor is wet in any OR, there is a possibility of the employee slipping while working. So, having a matting product which is non-slip is critical for the safety of staff. The anti-fatigue aspect will also lead to more worker productivity, more focus and better morale creating a safer surgical environment. There is a significant push in OR’s today to improve ergonomics so that workers can perform their tasks in safer ways.
To summarize, the ideal scenario in any given OR to manage fluids and help ensure safety of the staff would be a surgical suction mat which incorporates an anti-microbial agent, non-slip and anti-fatigue properties. That is the ideal scenario not only to help prevent infection, but to ensure safety in the OR.