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Birgand G, Azevedo C, Toupet G Attitudes, risk of infection and behaviours in the operating room (the ARIBO Project): a prospective, cross-sectional study. BMJ Open. 2014; 4:(1)

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Simons FE, Aij KH, Widdershoven GAM, Visse M. Patient safety in the operating theatre: how A3 thinking can help reduce door movement. Int J Qual Health Care. 26:(4)366-371

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The link between surgical site infection and traffic flow in the operating theatre

10 January 2019
Volume 28 · Issue 1

There is a growing body of evidence to support the theory that unnecessary staff movement can lead to environmental contamination in the operating theatre and increase the risk of surgical site infection (SSI). SSIs are among the most commonly occurring healthcare-associated infections and remain a significant cause of morbidity and mortality in the postoperative period (Lynch et al, 2009).

Brief literature searches demonstrated that traffic flow and door movement into and out of the operating theatre are important modifiable risk factors associated with SSIs owing to an increase in air and wound contamination (Lynch et al, 2009; Young et al, 2010; Birgand et al, 2014; Simons et al, 2014). Interestingly, unnecessary operating theatre traffic has also been described as a contributor to surgical error (Young et al, 2010) because of the interruption to the surgeon's concentration and an increase in noise levels within the environment.

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