Objective—To determine prevalence of bacterial contamination
of surgical suction tips.
Sample Population—Surgical tips used during 44
surgical procedures performed on 42 dogs and 2 cats.
Procedure—Surgical procedures were classified into
1 of 3 categories according to degree of bacterial contamination
of the surgical site (clean, clean-contaminated,
contaminated). Two sets of suction apparatuses
were used for test and control suction tips. Test
tips were used normally to suction blood and fluid,
whereas control tips were placed on the surgical
drapes but not in the surgical wound. Suction tips
were collected aseptically and placed into thioglycolate
broth tubes for qualitative aerobic and anaerobic
bacterial culture at the end of each procedure.
Results—Test and control suction tips were contaminated
with bacteria during 30 of 44 (68%) procedures.
Staphylococcus spp were the predominant
bacteria in tips used during clean and clean-contaminated
surgeries. When surgery was performed on
clean-contaminated or contaminated wounds, prevalence
of isolation of other bacteria such as
Pseudomonas spp, Streptococcus spp, and
Escherichia coli from both test and control suction
tips was higher than for clean wounds. Mean time of
procedures during which both test and control suction
tips became contaminated was not significantly different
from time of procedures during which neither
tip became contaminated.
Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—Surgical suction
tips often become contaminated during standard
veterinary surgical procedures. The risk of wound
infection after surgery may be influenced by bacterial
contamination of surgical suction tips. (Am J Vet Res