Prevention of surgical site infection under different ventilation systems in operating room environment

Zhijian Liu*, Haiyang Liu, Hang Yin, Rui Rong, Guoqing Cao*, Qihong Deng

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articleResearchpeer-review


Biological particles in the operating room (OR) air environment can cause surgical site infections (SSIs). Various ventilation systems have been employed in ORs to ensure an ultraclean environment. However, the effect ofdifferent ventilation systems on the control ofbacteria-carrying particles (BCPs) released from the surgical staff during surgery is unclear. In this study, the performance of four different ventilation systems (vertical laminar airflow ventilation (VLAF), horizontal laminar airflow ventilation (HLAF), differential vertical airflow ventilation (DVAF), and temperature-controlled airflow ventilation (TAF)) used in an OR was evaluated and compared based on the spatial BCP concentration. The airflow field in the OR was solved by the Renormalization Group (RNG) k-ε turbulence model, and the BCP phase was calculated by Lagrangian particle tracking (LPT) and the discrete random walk (DRW) model. It was found that the TAF system was the most effective ventilation system among the four ventilation systems for ensuring air cleanliness in the operating area. This study also indicated that air cleanliness in the operating area depended not only on the airflow rate of the ventilation system but also on the airflow distribution, which was greatly affected by obstacles such as surgical lamps and surgical staff. [Figure not available: see fulltext.]

Original languageEnglish
Article number36
JournalFrontiers of Environmental Science and Engineering
Issue number3
Number of pages14
Publication statusPublished - 2021


  • Bacteria-carrying particles (BCPs)
  • Operating room (OR)
  • Surgical site infections (SSIs)
  • Ventilation


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