Forced Air Warming (FAW) products and Surgical Site Infections (SSIs)
Introduction: Bair Hugger is a specific product used for forced-air warming and is used to keep a patient warm during surgery by blowing warm air across the surface of the skin. The benefits for maintaining normothermia have been well documented in the literature.
Background: In August 2013 concerns were raised about a recently published study (Clinical Quality & Infection Control) that suggested a correlation between FAW and SSI caused by aerosolized particulates in air currents. Several other studies had similar findings but none were done in clinical areas. (Camus Y, et al. Anesthesia & Analgesia. 1993; 77(5): pp. 995-9) The objective was to determine if FAW is associated with increase in particulates or bacterial/fungal contamination.
Methods: Testing was performed during 2 operative cases in 2 separate operating rooms.
Case 1 - orthopedic spine case
Case 2 - neurosurgical spine case.
Continuous air monitoring was done during 3 time periods: Pre patient, patient without FAW, patient with FAW. (See graphs A/B ) and 3 sets of bacterial and fungal cultures were collected and reported as colony forming units (CFUs).
Continuous air monitoring – Particulate Counts
· There was no difference in particulate counts regardless of whether the FAW was in use.
· There was no difference in Bacterial and fungal CFUs regardless of whether the FAW was in use.
· There were no significant pathogens identified.
· It is unlikely that FAW would have an association SSIs.
A. Galdys, None
S. Mccool, None