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Recent Study Finds Disturbing News on Surgical Infection Rates

Surgical rooms' sterile environments are being contaminated by air-borne pathogens, according to a recent study published by the Journal of Hospital Infection. Forced-air patient warning systems appear to be presenting a problem that may have previously gone overlooked, according to the study. For example, at least three orthopedic-implant patients have sued 3M for its market-dominating Bair Hugger after these patients suffered deep-joint infections in cases that were previously rejected for lack of proof of causation, according to Stop Surgical Infections, a group dedicated to educating healthcare professionals about the risks and consequences of surgical infections. The article, "Infection Control Hazards Associated with the Use of Forced-air Warning in Operating Theatres," appears in the Aug. 26, 2014 issue of the Journal. The authors summarized the findings of 10 peer-reviewed studies regarding infection rates of forced-air warnings and found that one study showed a three-fold decrease in deep joint infections when air-free warnings were used. Another study showed a 217,000 percent increase in contamination over the wound site when the forced-air warning was used. Another study reported 96 percent of the systems emitted "significant levels of contaminants." One patient reportedly created a website to warn people of these dangers: http://www.rosiesdream.com/blog. In that blog, she writes about envisioning a world without the deadly virus MRSA.

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