Circulation 122,210 • Volume 34, No. 2 • October 2019   Issue PDF

We Can All Shoulder the Responsibility of Decreasing Health Care-Associated Infections

Jennifer M. Banayan, MD

InfectionsThis issue of the APSF Newsletter focuses on the responsibility of health care providers to reduce infections associated with perioperative procedures and equipment. The APSF supports the effort to combat health care-associated infections, and, as evidence of its support, made “Hospital-acquired infections and environmental microbial contamination and transmission” one of its 12 Perioperative Patient Safety Priorities.1 Increasing provider awareness of the importance of consistent hand hygiene and proper disinfection practices for the operating room may lead to a reduction in bacterial contamination that may result in patient-acquired nosocomial infection.1,2

There is growing evidence for an increased risk of hospital-associated infections that appear to be originating from the operating room and the associated work spaces. Our medications, unused syringes, anesthesia machines and carts, and intravenous tubing are all susceptible to bacterial contamination.3 In an effort to decrease health care-associated infections, The Society for Healthcare Epidemiology of America (SHEA) published guidelines which describe in detail steps that may prevent and mitigate the risk for infection.2 In this issue of the APSF Newsletter, a variety of articles from multidisciplinary experts focus on these guidelines and other important issues revolving around this important patient safety problem.


Dr. Banayan is an associate professor in the Department of Anesthesiology at Northwestern University. Dr. Banayan serves as associate editor of the APSF Newsletter.


  1. Lane-Fall M. APSF highlights 12 perioperative patient safety priorities for 2018. APSF Newsletter. 2019;33:33. Accessed August 13, 2019.
  2. Munoz-Price L, Bowdle A, Johnston B, et al. Infection prevention in the operating room anesthesia work area. Infection Control & Hospital Epidemiology. 2019;40:1–17.
  3. Gargiulo DA, Mitchell S, Sheridan J, et al. Microbiological contamination of drugs during the administration for anesthesia in the operating room. Anesthesiology. 2016;124:785–794.