(4) No woolen blankets are permitted in the OR. Cotton blankets only are to
be used and they should not contain synthetic fibers (dacron, nylon, and so forth) or
have bindings of these materials. Blankets should be opened slowly and carefully,
never flipped. Blankets should not be warmed because heating removes moisture, thus
increasing the possibility of electrostatic spark.
(5) Personnel should avoid any unnecessary motion in the area near the
patient's head and the anesthesia equipment. They should stay away from the
anesthetist and anesthetizing equipment as much as possible.
(6) When draping the patient and during the operative procedure, care must
be exercised that the drapes do not come in contact with the breathing bag of the
anesthesia machine; such contact may result in an explosion.
(7) Any contact with the anesthetist or with the patient is to be made by first
touching the anesthetist's stool, the operating table, or the patient's skin at least two feet
from the mask on the patient's face. Any electrostatic charge within the individual is
then dissipated before he is close to the anesthesia equipment or mask.
(8) Extreme caution should be used when moving anesthesia equipment.
Equipment is moved only under the direction of the anesthetist.
(9) The humidity of the facemask, tubes, or breathing bag may be raised by
flushing them with water. This is a responsibility of the anesthetist and may be done as
an added precaution against accumulation of static charge within the machine itself.
d. Precautions Observed in Construction of the Suite and Equipment.
(1) Conductive flooring, usually ceramic or vinyl plastic tile, is installed.
Such flooring disperses static charges but does not subject personnel to electrical
shock. After being cleaned with detergent solution, this type of flooring must be
thoroughly rinsed to prevent the accumulation of a soap film. It is never waxed except
with a wax prepared especially for conductive flooring. Ordinary waxes or soap film will
lower its conductivity. The floors should be checked for conductivity at least once a
(2) Furniture is made of metal with the leg tips or casters made of either
metal or conductive rubber to provide a conductive path to the floor. Casters must be
kept clean because they will lose their conductivity if allowed to accumulate dirt, wax,
lint, suture material, or other debris. Clean casters usually function properly, but if the
casters must be lubricated, a small amount of dry graphite or graphite oil should be
used. Furniture is not to be painted or lacquered.
(3) Carbon-permeated rubber mattresses, pillows, and sheeting should be
used. The leg strap for the operating table should be made of conductive material. All
of the rubber parts on the anesthesia equipment should be made of conductive rubber
including the breathing tubes, the breathing bag, and the face masks.