Principles of Sterility – Principle 3, 4 and 5
Principle Number 3: Tables are only sterile at Table Level
- Edges and sides of the table drape are considered contaminated. Below the table level is also considered unsterile.
- Any sterile person who touches a part of the drape hanging below the table level is considered unsterile. Any object or equipment that drops below the table surface is considered contaminated.
- In unfolding and placing a sterile drape any portion of that falls below the table surface is unsterile and should not be moved or touched or brought back up to the level of the table.
- To prevent cords and tubing from sliding to the edge of the table, it should be fastened with a non-sharp device or object.
Principle Number 4: Sterile Persons Touch ONLY Sterile Items while Unsterile OR Personnel Touch Only Unsterile Items
- Sterile OR personnel comes in direct contact with persons who wears gowns and gloves only. The items that they will touch are the sterile equipments. Any supply brought by an unsterile staff should transfer the item in a sterile manner.
- Unsterile OR personnel (circulator), should not directly come in contact with a gowned and gloved person.
Principle Number 5: Unsterile persons avoid reaching over sterile field and sterile persons avoid touching or leaning over an unsterile area.
- In cases where a solution has to be poured into a sterile basin, the unsterile OR personnel should only hold the lip of the bottle over the basin to prevent any contact with the sterile area.
- To prevent the circulator from reaching over a sterile area when pouring solutions, the scrub person places the basin and glasses or any container for solutions near the edge of the table. This prevents the circulator from reaching over the sterile area by just standing near the edge of the table to fill the container with the liquid solution.
- When surgeons perspire on their brows, he or she should to turn away from the sterile field and have the sweat removed by the circulator.
- In draping or covering an unsterile table the scrub person drops the sterile drape at the center of the table while holding the fan-folded drape high and standing back from the table to protect the sterile gown.
- Sterile gloves are protected by cuffing a drape. The sterile OR personnel should place the gloved hands inside the sterile part of the drape.
- The scrub person unfolds the drape towards him or herself first to allow him or her to move closer to the table when working on the opposite side of the table since the first part of the unfolded drape now protects the sterile gown.