Keys for hospital cleaning in operating rooms

Cleanliness in health centers is of vital importance and must always be taken into account, but it is undoubtedly in operating theaters where extreme care must be taken. In this post, we will inform you of all the keys to professional cleaning the operating room. Operating rooms are the spaces most likely to be infected because of the characteristics of the different patients and the interventions they require. 

Surgeons cleaning instruments after surgery, infection control, covid-19 Surgeons cleaning instruments after surgery, infection control, covid-19 Surgeons cleaning instruments stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images

In operating rooms, there can be an acceleration in the development of harmful microorganisms, since blood, humidity, cold and artificial ventilation favor them.

Cleaning operating rooms is a task that must be done with great care and attention. It can infect patients in operating theaters with bacteria and viruses from other patients who have previously undergone surgery.

Poor cleaning of the operating room is because of inadequate asepsis and its consequences can be very dangerous for the health of patients, even causing death in the worst case. Operating room cleaning is an essential requirement for any doctor.

1. Why is asepsis important?

The term asepsis is used to refer to the sterilization of material and surgical environment that is carried out during the cleaning of an operating room.

Experts recommend cleaning operating rooms thoroughly every 24 hours, even if they have not been used during that.

Not only do we expose patients to infections in hospitals, but all people who visit the sick and health workers. Patients suffering from any pathology, along with the coming and going of the public that also carries viruses, become lethal weapons if the dirt is not removed.

The actions of disinfection, sterilization, and cleaning of operating rooms are designed with a prior analysis of all the factors that minimize the risks that patients have when undergoing surgery.

With asepsis, it is possible to eliminate any type of infectious germ from the organism.

​1.2.What does sterilization comprise?

Sterilization is the sum of all the steps that must be carried out in biology and medicine to exterminate any type of life form visible through a microscope.

Mainly, the instruments that are used by health personnel in an operating room are those that must be sterilized.

One of the most widely used ways to achieve instrumental sterilization is dry heat or autoclaves, which work with moist heat. You can also find other means of sterilization, such as radiation or ultraviolet light. With these actions, it is possible to eliminate all the bacteria that are present in the air.

1.3 What is antisepsis?

We know antisepsis for the elimination of harmful microorganisms through the use of chemical agents that are not highly toxic but are very effective. These chemical agents are called antiseptics.

We used this type of procedure for operating tables or surgical lamps, among others.

Surgical material must also be washed with antiseptics, and then always sterilized. The thoroughness when cleaning operating rooms is an investment in the health of patients in a hospital or clinic.

Some of the most used antiseptics are alcohol, iodine, hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide, and ammonia.

2. Main steps to follow

The first thing that must be done when you want to clean an operating room correctly is the delimitation of the areas in which it is composed.

This delimitation must be done according to its cleaning, disinfection, and sterilization. Means of doors isolate from the rest of the health center areas these areas are in perfect condition. The aim is to prevent the passage of the public and personnel outside both the intervention room and a wider perimeter.

The area to be cleaned in the operating rooms should not be contaminated by spaces such as changing rooms, warehouses, office areas, corridors, or ventilation ducts.

When operating theaters are cleaned, there are two areas that differ according to their asepsis: sterile or surgical areas and non-sterile or non-surgical areas.

​2.2 How often should it be done?

Although each hospital or clinic has its own protocol for cleaning contaminated operating rooms, the following recommendations can be established:

  • Daily cleaning of surgical lights and their arms, clinical devices, tubes, and monitors. Furniture, wheels, handles, doors, the lower part of the walls, horizontal surfaces, edges, and recesses.
  • After each intervention, the floor, the splashes, the instrument table, and clinical equipment must be cleaned. All the elements that make up the sterile area of ​​an operating room.
  • Someone should disassemble ventilation and air conditioning grilles to be completely cleaned every 3 weeks.

2.3 How to perform cleaning by elements and surfaces?

  • Cleaning of medical clothing: the clothing that is disposable is removed from the area
  • Disinfection of surgical material
  • Removal of waste, organic material, disposables, and medicine containers
  • Cleaning with clothes in cleaning and disinfection solutions of the lamps and surgical equipment
  • Surface cleaning: furniture, surgical lamps, sinks, taps, floors, walls, and ventilation grills

3. Characteristics of cleaning and disinfection products

The cleaning and disinfection products used in the cleaning processes of operating rooms must have the following characteristics:

  • Lack of toxic effects during use or as a residual effect
  • Do not produce unfavorable reactions when used with other products
  • Lack of odor or be negligible
  • Present good efficiency cleaning and with more economical cost
  • Be active once applied
  • Act on a wide spectrum of microorganisms

3.2 Materials 

It is essential that we use only the materials used during the cleaning of operating rooms and only for their specific function. In addition, we must store these materials in an area that is isolated from the rest of the sanitary space and that is also clean.

If the materials used to clean contaminated we store operating rooms in places that are themselves contaminated with viruses, the cleaning process would be useless.

In the cleaning of hospitals and clinics, we must use carts that have two separate and differentiated buckets. In one bucket, the detergent or disinfectant product must be deposited, and in the other, only water.

The buckets and clothes used must always have different colors and not be interchanged.

We must disinfect clothes every time we use them because their fabrics pick up dirt easily. Ideally, leave the clothes submerged in disinfectant for over 5 minutes.

All surfaces need cleaning with damp cloths or mops so that any possible dust particles may have are reduced.

4. Experts in cleaning operating rooms

The staff that cleans operating rooms must comprise professionals specialized in health services and hospital cleaning.

We must dress all people who access an operating room to clean it in the clothing, which includes: caps, gloves, special shoes, and fabrics made of special synthetic fibers that are chemically treated to prevent the transport and development of bacteria.

  the health assistants are to clean and sterilize the surgical material, as well as change the sheets on the operating tables, cleaning the table itself, equipment, and clothing.

When the operating room cleaning staff has finished their work and has the waste in specific bags, we must deposit these in specific containers according to the waste they contain defined by current regulations.

5. Recommendations 

Not all hospitals or clinics have the same operating rooms, both in terms of real estate and measurements. That is why each operating room has to establish a list of the elements and a cleaning protocol for them.

We recommend it to clean operating rooms from the sterile zone to the non-sterile zone. One factor that influences the proliferation of bacteria to a lesser or greater extent is environmental conditions. The temperature and humidity of the place is the biggest contributor.

In places with greater humidity and heat, bacteria and viruses spread more easily than in environments without humidity and cold.

Experts say that the temperature in operating rooms should always range between 20 and 24 degrees Celsius and humidity between 40 and 60%.

As previously mentioned in this post, cleaning operating rooms is of vital importance. Carry out as rigorously as possible and frequently. It would be useless not to control the cleaning of operating rooms since in We can seriously damage the health of patients who are to undergo surgery with just one oversight.

We can find infectious bacteria in any area of ​​an operating room, not just on the instruments and materials used. Being tiny, they can be difficult to locate. Therefore, when in doubt, it is better to carry out deep cleaning.

Healthcare cleaning professionals often reviewed cleaning requirements in operating theaters.





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