there are specific sources of possible contamination, which are a constant threat
to an open incision. These should be recognized and controlled. These sources of
(1) Members of the OR team (their clothing, breath, skin, hair,
and so forth).
All items used in the wound and on the sterile setup.
Dust in the air.
Other personnel, including visitors, in the OR.
The principles of sterile technique are applied in various ways. The principles
and their application of sterile technique will be discussed in the following paragraphs.
a. All materials used as a part of the sterile field for an operation must be sterile.
Certain basic items such as the linen, the instrument set, and the basins may be
obtained from the supply kept in the sterile supply room. Others, such as specialized
surgical instruments, may be sterilized the night before or immediately preceding the
operation and taken directly from the sterilizer to the sterile operative field.
(1) Linen used in the OR is usually dyed green. This helps to
reduce the glare from lights, thus reducing fatigue and eyestrain. Also, green linen
helps to eliminate potential contamination from the wards, since linen in the wards is
colored differently and should not be used in the OR.
(2) Moreover, linen selected for use in the OR should be checked to
ensure that it is not torn, frayed, or stained, and that no holes are present in
the cloth. Likewise, linen should be handled gently to prevent lint and dust from being
spread about the room.
(3) Only materials known to be sterile should be used and their sterility
should be maintained throughout the operative procedure.
b. Only persons who are "sterile" should touch sterile articles. "Unsterile"
persons should only touch unsterile items. All supplies for the "sterile" team members
(scrub, surgeon, and assistants) are provided by the circulator. The "unsterile" team
member protects the sterility of items through the use of the wrappers on sterile
packages (see figure 1-27).