Operating room practices for the control of infection in U.S. hospitals, October 1976 to July 1977

J. S. Garner, T. G. Emori, R. W. Haley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

14 Scopus citations


We estimated the frequency of selected infection control practices in the operating room from a nationwide survey of hospitals. Our survey confirmed that, in many hospitals, practices which have not received scientific or budgetary scrutiny have become part of the perioperative routine. Almost half of the hospitals reported using nonrecommended tacky, or disinfectant, mats at the entrance to operating rooms, and more than three-fourths were performing nonrecommended environmental cultures in the operating room at a cost ranging from $2,000 to $20,000 per year. When routine nose and throat cultures were taken of operating room personnel, we found an obvious pecking order, rather than a scientific rationale for culturing. In almost all instances, we found wide variations in practice among hospitals. This nonuniformity may be due to such factors as lack of a convincing scientific basis for evaluating the relative efficacy of alternative practices, the strong influence of industry marketing, the individual preferences of surgeons and operating room supervisors and the lack of completeness and agreement of statements from various scientific and professional organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)873-880
Number of pages8
JournalSurgery Gynecology and Obstetrics
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 1 1982

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Obstetrics and Gynecology


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