Evaluating Infection Risk in Two Staff Warming Devices and A Review of Current Literature into Thermal Comfort: An Application Across The Medical Field
The temperature in operating rooms (OR) is kept low for the comfort of the surgeon and those scrubbed in as they work under exacting conditions, dressed in impervious surgical gowns. This can create an uncomfortable environment for cold-sensitive staff that may turn to warming devices for relief. To ensure staffs are not introducing risk to patients through practices like these, this study evaluated bacteria growth from two staff warming devices: the off-label use of the 3M™ Bair Hugger™ and the OPERATIONHEAJAC® TRO. Bacteria colonies were analyzed by settle plate method in a mock OR. Analysis showed that the offlabel use of the Bair Hugger significantly increased the average Colony Forming Unit (cfu) rate in the air vs. control. With the OPERATIONHEATJAC TRO, there was an insignificant average cfu rate in the air vs. control. The existing literature was then analyzed to discover the potential importance and the current medical opinion on this matter.