Potential for infection in orthopaedic practice due to individually packaged screws
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The use of implants is widespread in orthopaedic practice. In recent times screws and plates have increasingly been supplied individually pre-packaged. We hypothesised that there is a potential for an increased risk of infection associated with the practice of using individually packaged screws. In this study an attempt was made to recreate as closely as possible the standard practice of opening screw packets in the operating theatre. The exterior of 50 screw packets was cultured. The outer screw packets were then opened over a draped instrument table above a petri dish. As a control, petri dishes were left open to the air in the same theatre environment. The packet exteriors grew cultures of organisms in 24/50 cases. The act of opening the packets yielded a growth in 7/50 cases. There was no growth on the control petri dishes. The significance of the result and potential solutions are discussed.
Medical and Health Sciences not elsewhere classified