Asepsis and clinical care

QUESTION:

Could you please clarify the standards for wearing of face masks in the operating room?

ANSWER:

The answer to your query can be found in the standard 'Perioperative attire'. Please read through the references, as this will further clarify the wearing of masks for you.



QUESTION:

No policies at my current place of work are in place regarding the cleaning and disinfection of lead gowns. The lead aprons are being worn daily and are not currently being cleaned. What are the infection control standards relating to lead gowns? Are there any standards or guidelines for the cleaning of shared lead gowns for use in theatre?

BRIEF ANSWER:

A general overview on this topic is provided in ACORN standards ‘Infection prevention’ and ‘Environmental management’. 

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QUESTION:

Could I please have clarification on the use of fingernail products on Registered Nurses in the theatre setting i.e. gel, shellac or SNS. Is it allowed?

BRIEF ANSWER:

ACORN standard ‘Infection prevention’ highlights correct hand hygiene practices (7.4) and, amongst other things, refers to 'not wearing artificial, acrylic nails or nail additives'.

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QUESTION:

In relation to perioperative attire, are we allowed to wear washable fabric hats (wearing a clean laundered one for each shift) or do they have to be disposable hats?

BRIEF ANSWER:

Please refer to the 'Perioperative attire' standard which outlines the use of surgical head covers to minimise microbial dispersal. 

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QUESTION:

Is it advantageous requesting that they have a bath or shower within a 24 hour period prior to coming in?

BRIEF ANSWER:

Preoperative skin preparation is performed to reduce the risk of postoperative wound infection by removing soil, transient organisms, and oils than may block penetration of antiseptic agents from the skin. 

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QUESTION:

Could you please let me know about the infection control standards regarding patients coming into theatre wearing their clothes, socks and shoes from home?

ANSWER:

Regarding attire, ACORN standards Infection Prevention and Perioperative Attire both refer to infection control parameters related to environmental boundaries in the perioperative setting, namely, restricted, semi-restricted and non-restricted areas. Standard statement 4 of thePerioperative Attire standard specifically addresses ‘street clothes’ for both staff and patients, e.g. no street clothes in the restricted area or the semi-restricted area but street clothes are permitted in unrestricted area.



QUESTION:

Is there a standard required for foot wear in the operating theatre to be made of leather and are plastic/rubber clogs with venting holes at the sides of the shoe appropriate?

BRIEF ANSWER:

ACORN Standard Perioperative Attire, specifically Standard Statement 5, indicates that all footwear must comply with relevant Australian Standards (eg AS/NZS 2210:2010) and relevant WH&S standards. 

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QUESTION:

Could you please clarify for me if the ceilings are included in the cleaning of theatre at the end of the day and also for MROs.

BRIEF ANSWER:

ACORN Standard Environmental Cleaning and Infection Prevention discusses visible standards for inspection of ceilings, vents and light fixtures and keeping these areas free from marks, dust, soil film and cobwebs (statement 4) including taking appropriate action when required prior to the commencement of an operative procedure. Statement 5 contains an example table for routine cleaning. 

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QUESTION:

Could you please clarify what is meant by ‘outer garments’ in the ACORN Standard Perioperative Attire, Standard Statement 1: Criteria 1.1?

BRIEF ANSWER:

With regards to ACORN Standard Perioperative Attire, outer garments would be garments worn outside of undergarments, which are typically underwear.  

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