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J Orthop. 2018 May 7;15(2):566-570. doi: 10.1016/j.jor.2018.05.015. eCollection 2018 Jun.

Does the type of surgical drape (disposable versus non-disposable) affect the risk of subsequent surgical site infection?

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Department of Orthopaedic Surgery and Musculoskeletal Medicine, University of Otago, Christchurch School of Medicine, New Zealand.
Musculoskeletal Research Unit, Translational Health Sciences, Bristol Medical School, University of Bristol, Learning and Research Building, Level 1, Southmead Hospital, Bristol, BS10 5NB, United Kingdom.



Determine whether disposable or reusable drapes are better at reducing surgical site infection (SSI) rates.


A systematic review of the English literature from inception to 2018 with search terms relating to infection and drapes in orthopaedic and spine surgery.


No orthopaedic or spinal surgery studies assessed the risk of SSI between reusable or disposable drapes. However, two articles, with conflicting results, compared current reusable and disposable drapes in other surgical disciplines.


There is no evidence to support a difference between reusable or disposable drapes to reduce the risk of SSI in orthopaedic and spinal surgery.


Disposable; Drape; Infection; Reusable

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