Section VI. HOUSEKEEPING
The maintenance of cleanliness at all times in the OR suite is of
extreme importance because infectious organisms are present both on floors and in the
air. Such organisms exist in large numbers wherever dirt and dust are present. In
addition, soil of any kind (dirt, blood, pus, and so forth) serves to protect infectious
organisms; therefore, the suite must be kept spotlessly clean. For the same reason, the
suite must be kept as free from dust as possible. Thus, housekeeping procedures are
vital to the maintenance of aseptic technique and the prevention of wound infection.
The OR specialist will be assigned various cleaning tasks and should therefore
have knowledge of the methods employed as well as their limitations in order
that cleaning will be most effective.
a. Discussion. Cleaning routines and procedures may vary somewhat among
hospitals, but they are based upon a number of rules, which should always be
observed. These rules are as follows:
The formation and the dispersion of dust should be suppressed.
Time should be allowed for dust to settle.
Dust and soiled laundry should not be allowed to accumulate.
A systematic housekeeping plan should be followed.
(5) Periodic cultures of the floors should be taken before and after cleaning,
as should cultures of the air in an oOR during periods of minimum and maximum
b. Local Policy. Within the surgical suite of a hospital, the time and the
frequency for cleaning the various areas in the suite will be done as a matter of routine.
This routine, as well as the specific procedure to be used, is included in the OR policy.
Although various cleaning procedures are set forth in the following paragraphs for the
information of the specialist, he should follow local policy when performing cleaning
1-30. FLOOR CLEANING
Cleaning of the floors in the OR may be accomplished by any of
several methods or by a combination of methods, the wet-dry-vacuum method (refer to
paragraph 1-31), the mop-and-pail method (refer to paragraph 1-32), and the scrub-or-
spray-machine method (refer to paragraph 1-33). The wet-vacuum method is used
more frequently than the other methods.