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Binocul Vis Strabismus Q. 2003;18(2):75-9.

Quantification of incidental needle and suture contamination during strabismus surgery.

Author information

1
Department of Ophthalmology, Cullen Eye Institute, Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, TX 77030, USA.

Abstract

PURPOSE:

To quantify the level of bacterial contamination of needles and sutures immediately after use in strabismus surgery.

METHODS:

Strabismus surgery was performed on 56 eyes from 31 pediatric strabismus surgical cases. Preoperative site preparation included instillation of 5% povidone-iodine in the conjunctival fornices in all cases. A total of 124 needles and 127 sutures were cultured immediately after final scleral passage.

RESULTS:

Seventeen of the 31 cases (54.8%) produced at least one positive specimen. Nineteen per cent of the needles and 25.2% of the sutures were culture positive. The bulk of positive specimens (96.7% of needles, 91.3% of sutures) produced 3 or less colony forming units, corresponding to 7 or less total viable organisms per needle or sutures in accordance with the dilution scheme. Coagulase-negative staphylococci overwhelmingly predominated.

CONCLUSIONS:

Needles and sutures used in strabismus surgery can become contaminated during surgery despite preoperative povidone-iodine preparation. The number of viable bacterial contaminants is usually below the level known to consistently produce experimental endophthalmitis. However, a few needles and sutures carried a high contaminant load, suggesting the possibility that contaminated needles and sutures could potentially cause postoperative intraocular infection.

PMID:
12765540
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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