Authors: Matthew D. Koff, M.D., M.S.; Randy W. Loftus, M.D.
ASA Monitor 12 2016, Vol.80, 16-18.
Anesthesiologists are proven leaders in patient safety and have dramatically reduced the risks of administering general anesthesia. This excellence has extended to the perioperative period where steps have been taken to reduce postoperative cognitive dysfunction, to enhance recovery, and to minimize impairment of pediatric brain development. Recently, intraoperative bacterial transmission and its relationship to postoperative infection development have been addressed. While prior efforts in intraoperative infection control have focused on patient-to-provider transmission (HIV, Hepatitis B, C, SARS, Tuberculosis, MRSA), recent efforts in this arena have evaluated bacterial reservoir transmission and subsequent infection development. This is an important step as bacterial pathogens are becoming more transmissible and virulent, and due to antibiotic resistance, much more difficult to treat when they occur.