A survey on the thermal conditions experienced by a surgical team

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18 Citations (Scopus)


The complex environment of the operating theatre is shared by a group of people having highly different needs: on one side, there is a surgical team whose work may last many hours and, on the other, an anaesthetized patient often subject to liquid infusion.Up to now, little consideration has been given to the different needs of the surgical team who may be affected according to their positions with respect to the scialytic lamp and their particular task. Clothing influences thecomfort of the surgical team to a considerable degree:in fact, in some surgery (orthopaedics, neurosurgery and so on), surgeons and assistants must wear paperoveralls beneath non-breathable plastic overalls andprotective masks and caps; then, if X-rays are neededduring surgery, the second surgeon and the assistantsmust also wear lead overalls and lead thyroid collarsand gloves while the anaesthetists and nurses will keepon wearing non-breathable paper overalls. In consequence,the thermal resistance of the clothing of thesurgical staff involved in the same surgical operationcould be very different.The purpose of the present work is to report investigationscarried out at the SS. Annunziata Hospital in Cento(Ferrara, Italy) and present some of the data obtained.The article describes experimental and theoreticalresearch activities, both ongoing and proposed, inherentto the thermo-hygrometric comfort problems ofmedical personnel. This study falls within a largerresearch programme, concerning the microbiological,chemical and physical pollution phenomena and thepatient’s hypothermia problems in an operating theatre.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)99-109
Number of pages11
JournalIndoor and Built Environment
Publication statusPublished - 2007

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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