June 2013
Volume 54, Issue 15
ARVO Annual Meeting Abstract  |   June 2013
Ophthalmic air filtration practices in hospital and community settings and its role in modern day surgery
Author Affiliations & Notes
  • Kelly Ma
    Ophthalmology, Boston Medical Center, Boston, MA
  • Bonnie Henderson
    Ophthalmic Consultants of Boston, Boston, MA
    Ophthalmology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA
  • Footnotes
    Commercial Relationships Kelly Ma, None; Bonnie Henderson, Alcon (C), Bausch and Lomb (C)
  • Footnotes
    Support None
Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science June 2013, Vol.54, 811. doi:
  • Views
  • Share
  • Tools
    • Alerts
      This feature is available to authenticated users only.
      Sign In or Create an Account ×
    • Get Citation

      Kelly Ma, Bonnie Henderson; Ophthalmic air filtration practices in hospital and community settings and its role in modern day surgery. Invest. Ophthalmol. Vis. Sci. 2013;54(15):811.

      Download citation file:

      © ARVO (1962-2015); The Authors (2016-present)

  • Supplements

Purpose: Air injection is commonly used in ophthalmic surgeries. It is unclear from a review of the literature whether there is a medical basis for air filtration. This practice, however, still continues today. Over the past few decades, operating room air quality standards have improved and employ a conventional plenum ventilation system through which particles greater than five microns are removed to obtain a dramatic reduction of colony forming units (50-150 CFUs/m3) as well as surgical morbidity.1,2 This study explores the purpose of direct air filtration for intraocular surgery and examines the incidence of use in various clinical settings.

Methods: Ophthalmic surgeons were surveyed across the US and internationally, in both university/hospital and private practice/ambulatory surgical center settings, regarding the use of air filters during ophthalmic surgery, including but not limited to cataract, cornea, and retina surgeries.

Results: 33 surgeons in university/hospital centers and 40 surgeons in ambulatory surgery centers responded to the survey. In the university/hospital setting, 39.4% of respondents filter air prior to intraocular delivery internationally and 44.4% nationally. In ambulatory surgery centers, 32.5% of respondents filter air prior to intraocular delivery internationally and 35.1% nationally. Neither international (z=0.613; p=0.540) nor US (z=0.753; p=0.451) filtration practice proportions were statistically significant between the two types of surgery centers using a 95% CI.

Conclusions: Previous studies did not demonstrate or support the need to filter air for microbes.3 However, approximately one-third of operating rooms and ambulatory care centers still filter air. This practice adds several minutes and approximately $2.00 in medical supply cost to each surgery and may be unnecessary. References: 1. Dharan S and Pittet D. Environmental controls in operating theatres. J Hosp Infect. 2002 Jun;51(2):79-84. 2. Landrin A et al. Monitoring air sampling in operating theatres: can particle counting replace microbiological sampling? J Hosp Infect. 2005 Sep;61(1):27-9. 3. Schneider TL et al. The microbiologic effect of gas filtration. Retina. 1996;16(2):125-8.

Keywords: 460 clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: health care delivery/economics/manpower • 462 clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: outcomes/complications • 465 clinical (human) or epidemiologic studies: systems/equipment/techniques  

This PDF is available to Subscribers Only

Sign in or purchase a subscription to access this content. ×

You must be signed into an individual account to use this feature.