Operating Attire: Design Considerations and Relevance

Introduction
Surgical attire is an important consideration for all healthcare personnel who are engaged in the Surgical Units of different healthcare organizations. The purpose of operating room attire is to ensure effective barriers for preventing the spread of microorganisms from the healthcare personnel to the patients and vice versa. Microorganisms could gain access to the either stakeholders during the surgical intervention procedures. Blood, pus and urine are the common sources of microorganisms. Hence, appropriate surgical attire is essential for both the patients and healthcare personnel. Appropriate and disinfected surgical attire is strongly related to positive health outcomes. Surgical attire is defined as the dress or body covers which prevent the spread of microorganisms from the healthcare personnel to the patients and vice versa. From a historical perspective, practice of hygienic principles in surgical units is evident. Hand washing was given a top-most priority during the past and is one of the important hygienic principles during the current era. 
Definition and Domain
Operating room attire comprises of shirts, trousers, surgical gowns, gloves and shoe covers. Every operation theatre should have standardized dress code and policies to prevent the spread of microorganisms. The various policies which are mandatory are:
a. Location of dressing rooms in the unrestricted area of the OR (Operation room)
b. Disinfected and fumigated dresses should be worn while extending surgical interventions.
c. Personal hygiene principles like appropriate hand-washing with antiseptics/sterilizing liquid
d. Comfortable shoes and socks to be worn to minimize fatigue (this is an important criteria, as because certain operation can take hours)
e. The head masks and head caps should cover the hair

Design features of Operation Theater Attire
The dresses should be made of closely woven material for avoiding dangerous electrostatic attractions with surgical instruments. The clothes should be resistant to blood and other body fluids and it should provide excellent coverage of the skin. The cloth material should not elicit any hypersensitivity reactions in the healthcare professionals. The clothes should be made of minimum clo units to minimize heat stress in the healthcare professionals. The dresses should not be too tight or heavy, as it could restrict the movement of healthcare personnel.
Historical Perspective and Aetiology
Ignaz Semmelweis, a reputed Hungarian surgeon first necessitated the need for strict hand washing guidelines. He implemented such guidelines for his medical students. Skin has been long recognized as the primary source of harbouring microorganisms. Skin is one of the first line defences which provide innate immunity to an individual, but it is also a potent source of various microorganisms. The most common microorganisms which are associated with the skin are Staphylococcus and Escherichia. However, presence of other organisms is not ruled out. The presence of other organisms is dependent upon the hospital environment and the hospital unit.
Skin is one of the major sources which increase the risk of cross-infections and secondary infections in febrile patients. Hence, hand washing and appropriate operation attire has been provided due importance across different healthcare set-ups. Bacteria that inhabit the hands of healthcare personnel are the major cause for surgical site infections. The Centre for Disease Control (2002) reported that usage of non-antimicrobial scrubbing agent leads to rapid multiplication of pathogenic bacteria, within the gloves of the healthcare personnel, who are engaged in the surgical units. The study done by nursing assignment help experts further concluded that wearing of sterile clothes and sterile operation attire is not sufficient to prevent the risk of infection.
Guiding Principles for Standard Operating Procedures
 The different healthcare set-ups should strictly follow the SOPs which have been recommended by surgical guidelines. Surgical head cover should be free of lint. Lint stimulates the growth of microorganisms, just like sweat. Head covers and skin covers are worn to prevent shedding of hairs and squamous cells. The skin and the hair are the highest zones where increased turnover of squamous cells takes place. Infection can spread from these squamous cells or from the exposed fibronectin on the skin surface. Fibronectin is a protein associated with the collagen tissues on bones and skin. Fibronectin is the major thriving place for Staphylococcus species. Hence, head covers and skin covers should be worn judiciously to prevent the risk of infections. Masks should be worn in such a way so as to prevent the chances of venting from the sides of the masks. Accidental and increased venting has been associated with increased spread of infections. A pliable metal or noseband should be placed to fit over the ridge of the nose. This will prevent slippage of the mask from its original position.

Summary
 Surgical attire is an important intervention for all healthcare personnel engaged in the Surgical Units. The purpose of operating room attire is to ensure effective barriers for preventing the spread of microorganisms from the healthcare personnel to the patients and vice versa. Appropriate surgical attire is essential for both the patients and healthcare personnel .In case a student finds all this a tad too difficult then there are always essay writer experts for help.

For further reading:-

Skin preparation required on the surgical site