Surgical Disposable Drapes

Surgical drapes and gowns help in maintaining a sterile environment by acting as a form of protective barrier in surgical procedures preventing the transfer of microorganisms and pathogens between the patient and the surroundings. Depending on the material they are made of, drapes are classified either as disposable or reusable. Disposable drapes are typically plastics, whereas non-disposable drapes are made of muslin of double-thickness which are absorbent.

Drapes are further divided based on their functional specialty. Incise Drapes drapes possess high moisture vaporizing rate, are highly comfortable to the body, and have a super adhesion right up to the wound edge. General surgical drapes can be adapted for different general procedures and can meet potential problems such as fluid irrigation or large volumes of blood. Orthopedic drapes maintain a sterile field throughout the procedure and can withstand heavy manipulations within the proceedings.

There are some standard practices observed in the use of surgical drapes. As drapes create a barrier between the area of surgery and potential areas of infection, only sterile drapes should be used with the sterile field. This prevents leakage from non-sterile areas to sterile areas. Drapes should be free of holes, punctures and tears, as any compromise in the integrity of the microbial barrier results in contamination.

To prevent the transfer of pathogens, it’s important for drapes to be impervious and fluid repellant to minimize strikethrough contamination thereby reducing the risk of surgical site infections (SSI’s). They should also be lint-free to avoid airborne pollution and reduce the possibilities of SSI’s.

Drapes should not be made of materials that are flammable through ignition via lasers or fiber optics in the operating room. As most drapes are not completely resistant to the effects of laser beams in a highly oxygenated environment it falls to the surgical teams to take precautionary measures, such as covering the surgical site with wet towels.

Disposable drapes offer several advantages over reusable drapes while considering factors like comfort, cost, safety, barrier efficiency, and reliability. They reduce time-consuming tasks, such as washing, bleaching, ironing, and drying. The cost of disposable drapes is roughly about the same or less than the cost of washing a reusable surgical drape, as other products are required to wash them, such as detergents, water, machine costs, and electricity.

Disposable surgical drapes convey a look of immaculate hygiene standards. Using disposable curtains and bed-sheets gives an impression of professionalism. They are clean, neat, and hygienically packaged ready for use.

Most disposable surgical drapes and gowns originate from polypropylene which is a side result of the petrochemical business and is recyclable. They are friendlier to the environment as compared to other liquids and chemicals used in washing processes. Disposable surgical products also assist in budget management as they have a consistent, measurable value.