Friday, May 20, 2016

Five High-Touch Surfaces Heavily Contaminated in the Operating Room

New Study Highlights Need for Enhanced Cleaning in OR High-Touch Areas

A study published online in the American Journal of Infection Control highlights the need for more frequent cleaning of high-touch areas in the operating room (OR).1 In 2010, when the CDC put together a list of high-touch areas that need to be cleaned more often than minimal-touch areas,2 it did not include the OR on that list. In this study, Link et al1 identified the most frequently touched surfaces in the OR and determined the level of contamination of high-touch surfaces compared to low-touch surfaces in the OR.

In the study’s first phase, areas in the OR categorized as high-touch were determined. In the second phase, cultures of the high-touch areas were obtained to determine level of contamination. The OR light was used as the control. Except for the OR bed, high-touch areas proved to be more heavily contaminated than low-touch areas.

The study identified five areas as the most frequently touched surfaces in the OR, as follows1:
  1. Anesthesia computer mouse
  2. OR bed
  3. Nurse computer mouse
  4. OR door
  5. Anesthesia medical cart

The study concluded that, based on the data collected, an enhanced cleaning protocol should be in place for the surfaces touched most frequently in the OR.1
Seal Shield medical mouse
Seal Shield™ Medical Mouse
Seal Shield™ medical mice can help prevent cross-contamination in the OR. An antimicrobial is impregnated in the product, providing protection against viruses, fungi, mold, mildew, and odor-causing bacteria between cleaning times (Seal Shield waterproof technology, by enabling the user to clean the keyboard, helps protect the user from cross contamination infections). Seal Shield medical mice are 100% waterproof. They can be cleaned with sprays or wipes without needing to be powered down or disconnected, and they can be washed with bleach in a sink or automatic dishwasher. Seal Shield medical mice are available in USB, PS/2, RF wireless, and Bluetooth. Seal Shield medical keyboards are also 100% waterproof and feature the same antimicrobial technology. For more information on Seal Shield medical keyboards and mice, visit


1.       Link T, Kleiner C, Mancuso MP, et al. Determining high touch areas in the operating room with levels of contamination. Am J Infect Control. Published online: May 07, 2016. Last accessed: May 13, 2016.
2.       Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Options for evaluating environmental cleaning. Appendices to the Conceptual Program Model for Environmental Evaluation. Page last reviewed: October 15, 2010. Page last updated: August 8, 2014. Last accessed: May 17, 2016.