AORN Offers Steps to Restore OR Operations After a Power Outage and Flooding


The following suggestions were prepared by nurse consultants at the Association of Perioperative Registered Nurses (AORN) especially for those who have been affected by Hurricane Sandy. The AORN Nursing Consult Line is open to members who have specific questions on Monday, Wednesday and Friday, from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. MT at 1-800-755-2676.

1. Perform an environmental assessment by a multi-disciplinary team including:
a. Infection Preventionist
b. Facility Plant Engineer
c. Nursing
d. Sterile Processing Department Manager
e. Management
2. Assess environmental cleanliness:
a. Condensation on surfaces (eg, walls, flooring, supply packages)
b. Inspect sterile packaging for condensation on surfaces or any signs of water damage
3. Assess power supply: Fully restored or on emergency generator?
4. Assess HVAC system:
a. Air exchanges restored?
b. Temperature within acceptable range?
c. Humidity less than 60%?
5. Assess water supply
a. Water pressure
b. Water quality
c. Steam supply lines
6. Perform quality check on steam sterilizers and automated cleaning equipment before returning to service.
a. Reprocess or discard any sterile items suspected of damage
7. Terminally clean operating rooms
8. Inventory and record discarded damaged supplies for insurance claim purposes and to obtain replacements.

Additional Resource: L Mitchell, Lessons Learned from Hurricane Ike, AORN Journal, Volume 89, Issue 6 , Pages 1073-1078, June 2009.

Related Videos
Patient Safety: Infection Control Today's Trending Topic for March
Infection Control Today® (ICT®) talks with John Kimsey, vice president of processing optimization and customer success for Steris.
Picture at AORN’s International Surgical Conference & Expo 2024
An eye instrument holding an intraocular lens for cataract surgery. How to clean and sterilize it appropriately?   (Adobe Stock 417326809By Mohammed)
Photo of a model operating room. (Photo courtesy of Indigo-Clean and Kenall Manufacturing)
Washington, USA, US Treasury Department and Inspector General Office.    (Adobe Stock File 210945332 by Brian_Kinney)
A plasmid is a small circular DNA molecule found in bacteria and some other microscopic organisms. (Adobe Stock 522876298 by Love Employee)
Peter B. Graves, BSN, RN, CNOR, independent perioperative, consultant, speaker, and writer, Clinical Solution, LLC, Corinth, Texas; Maureen P. Spencer, M.Ed, BSN, RN, CIC, FAPIC, infection preventionist consultant, Infection Preventionist Consultants, Halifax, Massachusetts; Lena Camperlengo, DrPH, MPH, RN, Senior Director, Premier, Inc, Ocala, Florida.
Surgery (Adobe Stock, unknown)
Related Content