Originally posted by pcoburn:
If a case is postponed, how long can you keep the sterile field intact before it is considered contaminated? Plese give references of information
According to Alexander's Care of the Patient in Surgery, "preparation of sterile setups hours before needed and covering of setups with sterile sheets are not acceptable for two reasons: setups are left unguarded and prey to sources of contamination, and removal of cover sheets w/o contamination is impossible. Therefore, sterile fields should be prepared as colse as possible to scheduled time of use. If sterile setups are left unguarded or covered, they should be considered contaminated."
Your hospital should have P&P on this matter. At the hospital I work, P&P states that if the patient is not in the room, setups are considered unsterile after two hours. Hope this helps.
Christy Thompson, RN, BSN
Christy Thompson, RN,BSN