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Clean-up for Ipswich Hospital

PUBLISHED: 01:43 27 September 2002 | UPDATED: 12:43 03 March 2010

ULTRA clean, state-of-the-art operating theatres are being installed at Ipswich Hospital to purify the air as surgeons work.

The high tech ventilation system constantly withdraws used air from the room, and replaces it with clean air instead.

ULTRA clean, state-of-the-art operating theatres are being installed at Ipswich Hospital to purify the air as surgeons work.

The high tech ventilation system constantly withdraws used air from the room, and replaces it with clean air instead.

A hospital spokeswoman said the improvement would make the operating theatres the safest environment possible.

Sterile conditions would mean less infections suffered in the wake of surgery, especially orthopaedic surgery on joints such as hip replacements. Wound infection can lead to death and serious complications, and treating infections can also also be very expensive, costing up to £1,500 per patient.

Ipswich Hospital is spending £400,000 on installing the system, which is due to open officially in a few weeks' time.

Research carried out in the early 1980s showed that the use of ultra clean air in operating rooms had a dramatic effect on reducing the rate of bacterial infection.

Today the ultra clean air systems are considered an integral part of the modern operating theatre, and air quality is now given top priority.

An extra ultra-clean operating theatre was completed by the end of last year at West Suffolk Hospital, funded by a legacy. It meant more orthopaedic surgery, and planned and emergency work could be done.

Ipswich Hospital's improvement was welcomed by Mick Lloyd, 60, of Norbury Road, Ipswich, who went into hospital to have a hip replacement and found that invading germs were worse than the surgeon's knife.

He said: "It might sound a lot of money, but it will be money well spent if it makes the operating theatres more sterile, and stops people going through what I did."

In August 2001 he told the Star how he fell victim to MRSA and it has affected his life ever since. The wound was sewn up but soon became infected so the replacement hip had to be removed just four weeks after it had been put in. He was medically pensioned off from his job as a stores officer at Royal Hospital School in Holbrook and now has an unrelated brain condition which means he needs carers' help.

A spokeswoman for Ipswich Hospital stressed at the time, that it has a very clear infection control policy and an infection control committee which meets regularly to consider all the options available on how to introduce new ways of combating infection.

Weblink: www.medicalairtechnology.com

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