New technologies to fight contaminated air in operating rooms

March 24, 2022

Nurses regularly exposed to poor air quality by simply doing their job now have a reason to breathe easy. Aerobiotix has developed two new technologies to disinfect operating room (OR) air which often includes surgical smoke plume, volatile organic compounds, bacteria and viruses. 

Aerobiotix  presented their Illuvia Sense with real-time data capturing features by deploying more than 20 units to help disinfect the air at the 2022 AORN Global Surgical Conference and Expo and the AeroCure Vac which protects patients and hospital staff from airborne dangers arising from aerosol generating procedures.

The environmental risks from contaminated OR air are well documented. Perioperative nurses report twice the incidence of respiratory problems compared to the general population. Surgical smoke plume, bone cement, skin prep solutions, and anesthetic gases can carry volatile organic compounds and other hazardous compounds known to cause cancer if inhaled. Illuvia Sense has directional flow surgical air disinfection system that improves overall environmental safety in the OR and reduces the risk of surgical site infections.

Dr. Kirschman is a former neurosurgeon who developed the Illuvia Sense and AeroCure Vac technologies following his own experiences in the OR. Standard operating room ventilation delivers clean air directly over the surgical site. However, these systems leave a ring of contaminated air around the clean air of the surgical table, called the “dirty donut,” which may continue to pose a danger to the patient and staff.

“Any movement in the OR can disrupt contaminants in the dirty donut and scatter them into the surgical site,” explained Dr. Courtney Adams, Aerobiotix VP of Clinical and Medical Affairs. “Anything and anyone passing through the dirty donut can potentially re-expose the surgical site to contaminated air. This includes surgical staff, drapes, instruments, implants, gloves, and other surgical equipment.”

Illuvia Sense helps eliminate the dirty donut using proven ultraviolet germicidal technology, HEPA filtration, and carbon-copper filters to inactivate over 99.9% of bacteria, viruses, and spores in the air— including SARS-Cov-2. The unit operates quietly and independently without disrupting OR work flows. The FDA registered medical air disinfection device is proven to eliminate microbes throughout the OR and not just the surgical site.

The AeroCure Vac uses a semi-rigid vacuum tube which is placed near the patient during Aerosol Generating Procedures (AGPs). AGPs include Endotracheal intubation and extubation, oral and pharyngeal procedures, bronchoscopy, pulmonary function testing, and respiratory treatments and suctioning. Data shows healthcare workers who regularly perform AGPs have three times the risk of clinically significant respiratory infections. The vac has also been shown to reduce total particles generated during electrocautery by 97% at periphery of room, reduce the concentration of bioaerosols at distances of 4-6 inches, and reduce VOC levels (ppm) generated during the mixing of bone cement at distances of 3-14 inches away from the source, with a 97% reduction observed at 3 inches.

Aerobiotix release