i. "Unsterile" team members should keep away from sterile areas. "Unsterile"
persons should allow a wide margin of safety when passing sterile areas and should
follow the rule for passing--"unsterile" persons should face a sterile area when passing it
to be sure they have not touched the area. In addition, "unsterile" persons should not
go within the sterile "circle" or between two sterile fields. An unsterile team member
should never crowd past a "sterile" team member.
j. "Sterile" team members should keep their contact with sterile areas to a
(1) "Sterile" team members should not lean on the sterile tables nor on the
(2) The scrub should keep the large instrument table (back table) and the
Mayo stand far enough away so that the gowns of "sterile" team members do not brush
k. Sterile areas should be protected from moisture because a moist item may
become contaminated. When moisture soaks through a sterile area to an unsterile one,
or vice versa, a means of transporting infectious organisms to the sterile area is
provided. Therefore, the OR specialist should observe the following rules of practice:
Sterile packages should be laid on dry sterile areas.
(2) If any portion of a sterile package becomes damp or wet, the entire
package should be either resterilized or discarded.
(3) If a sterile package falls on the floor, it is considered unsterile.
(4) Ampules wet with a bactericidal solution should be handled in such a
way as to avoid wetting the sterile drape.
(5) A towel should be placed in the bottom of an instrument tray before
placing the instruments in it for autoclaving. The towel will absorb the moisture and
permit the tray to be set upon a sterile table after being autoclaved.
(6) Linen packages from the sterilizer should be permitted to cool before
being stored on shelves. This procedure prevents packages from becoming damp from
(7) Sterile drapes should be placed on a dry surface. Thus, time should be
allowed for the prep solution used to paint the patient's skin to dry before draping is