Domestic electric drills in the service of orthopaedic surgery: a potential and preventable source of surgical site infections
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Objective: We aimed to assess the contamination potential of the exhaust air from venting ports of running domestic electric drills which are commonly used in orthopaedic surgeries by means of both microbiological sampling and particle counting. Methods: In an empty operating room, the exhaust air from five running sterile domestic electric drills measured using a particle counter and microbiological sampling was made via aspirating isolator with colony formations noted for a 2-week period. International Organization for Standardization (ISO) 14644 criteria were implemented with respect to the sterility standards. Results: All of the drills produced statistically significantly higher levels of particles than the ambient air (p<0.01). There was no statistically significant difference in the number of collected particles among drills (p>0.05). No bacterial growth was detected in microbiological sampling via blood agar medium in the ambient air. Conversely, Staphylococcus epidermidis, Micrococcus luteus, and Staphylococcus capitis were isolated from the exhaust air of all running drills. There was no correlation between the number of particles produced by drills and the microbiological sampling. Conclusion: Domestic electric drills are not safe and may be a direct source of surgical site infection, as the use or re-use of these drills during orthopaedic surgery increases the risk of infection with contaminated aerosols that are produced by these devices.